Important Telehealth Update

Important Telehealth Update

RCPA is pleased to report that there has been significant progress as stakeholders work together in developing solutions for expanded telehealth flexibility. RCPA has met with members of the General Assembly, OMHSAS, the Governor’s office, the National Council on Mental Wellbeing; as well as other member associations and providers; all committed to a collaborative effort to address the continuation of the telehealth service deliverables as outlined in our PA tele-behavioral health bulletin.

Next week, the principals will meet to review the legislative pathways and bill specifics in addressing the current 4 walls requirements. It has been determined the vehicle to this will be to amend our current draft legislation that initially was created to address the psychiatrist in office time requirement.

We have spoken at length with our partners at the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, and they have provided an insightful overview of this from a federal lens; including the fact that Pennsylvania is only one of more than 15 states working with CMS and their legislature to meet the systems needs of their Medicaid population. The National Council also reported that the legislative process is the pathway most supported at the federal level to address the matter.

We are hopeful for an expedited legislative solution that will support OMHSAS in making any resulting policy, practice, or programmatic changes that will support the initiative. We are extremely encouraged by the system’s efforts and focus this week, and the developing short-term plan. RCPA continues, as recommended earlier in the week, for providers to be patient, review your contingency plans, and focus your primary efforts on servicing those entrusted to your care.

RCPA will continue to partner with all members and stakeholders and provide updates as we proceed.

If you have questions, please contact RCPA Policy Director Jim Sharp. The next RCPA Telehealth Operations Committee meeting will be rescheduled for earlier in February and we will be sending that information out early next week. Please share this information with your stakeholder networks.