Medicaid Telehealth Expansion

What is telehealth?

Telehealth is audio and video contact with your doctor or health care provider using your phone, computer, or tablet. It includes:

  • Health care services.
  • Getting a diagnosis.
  • Consultations to discuss your treatment.
  • Treatment for your medical condition.

What services will be included?

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) aims to provide more flexibility for Wisconsin Medicaid members to make it easier to receive health care. To do this, DHS is currently working on expanding permanent telehealth policy. Some services that may be available through telehealth for Wisconsin Medicaid members include:

  • School-based services: Medical services related to a student's special education needs.
  • Medication therapy management: Consultations with a pharmacist to review medications you are taking.
  • Targeted case management: Help to gain access to and coordinate medical, social, educational, vocation, and other services.
  • Therapies: Occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy.
  • Behavioral health: Services for mental health, substance abuse, and behavioral treatment.
  • Dentistry: Consultation and care for teeth and mouth conditions.

How does it work?

There are a few ways you will be able to receive services through telehealth:

 Interactive services

Interactive services icon, speech bubbles with camera

Health care is delivered using communication technology, like a phone, computer, or tablet, that allows two-way, real-time interaction.

  • Current permanent policy: DHS reimburses for select services.
  • New policy: DHS will reimburse for additional telehealth services that are functionally equivalent to face-to-face services (can be delivered through audio or video communication without a drop in quality, safety, or effectiveness).

Example: You talk to your doctor on the computer where you can see and hear each other.

 

 Asynchronous services

Asynchronous Services Icon, two computers with heartbeat logos

Two or more people exchange information but not at the same time. An example includes “store-and-forward” software that allows information to be sent and received at different times.

  • Current permanent policy: DHS reimburses limited services delivered via asynchronous or store-and-forward telehealth.
  • New policy: DHS reimburses for specific asynchronous services.

Example: You have an X-ray performed, which is then sent to your doctor to read later.

 

 Remote patient monitoring

Remote patient monitoring icon, people with heart monitor, doctor with computer

Technology is used to collect your medical and health data and electronically send that information securely to your health care provider for assessment and recommendations.

  • Current permanent policy: DHS covers the majority of remote patient monitoring services.
  • New policy: DHS reimburses for additional remote patient monitoring services, such as remote physiologic monitoring.

Example: A scale you have at home automatically sends your weight to your doctor.

 Keep in touch

  • Join our email list to receive information about Medicaid telehealth expansion.
  • If you have questions, email us.

 Resources

Members

FAQs about telehealth are available.

Providers

Visit the ForwardHealth Portal for more information about telehealth policy.

Stakeholders

Visit the Medicaid Telehealth Expansion: Stakeholder Engagement webpage for information on input sessions and workgroups.

     

     Temporary vs. Permanent Telehealth

    Temporary Telehealth

    DHS established a temporary telehealth policy to ensure access to health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The temporary policy flexibilities for telehealth services related to COVID-19 are not tied to the federal or state declaration of a public health emergency. The temporary policy will continue until DHS creates permanent, expanded policy.

    For more information on in-person and remote services during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the COVID-19: ForwardHealth Updates for You and Your Family webpage.

    Permanent Telehealth

    The telehealth expansion project will establish permanent telehealth policy. The project is in its early stages, and DHS is currently collecting stakeholder input on expanded policy.

    Last Revised: May 6, 2021