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Telehealth Study

The Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) is required by Chapter 70 (House Bill 123) and Chapter 71 (Senate Bill 3) of the 2021 Laws of Maryland, Preserve Telehealth Access Act of 2021 to study the impact of telehealth as it relates to use of audio-only and audio-visual technologies in somatic and behavioral health interventions. The MHCC, in consultation with select State agencies, must submit recommendations on telehealth coverage and payment levels relative to in-person care to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Health and Government Operations Committee by December 1, 2022.  

The legislation follows an MHCC convened Telehealth Policy Workgroup (workgroup) in the fall of 2020. The workgroup consisted of about 70 diverse stakeholders that discussed changes in telehealth policies implemented in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The workgroup suggested that MHCC study the quality and cost of telehealth and its impact on access to care, alignment with new models of care, and consumer and provider satisfaction. See report for more information.  

About the Study

The MHCC issued an Emergency Request for Proposals in June 2021 to obtain a contractor with subject matter expertise in telehealth and new models of integrated care, and proficiency in conducting quantitative and qualitative research. In September 2021, the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago was competitively selected to complete study activities. Study goals include: 

  1. Conduct quantitative and qualitative research on telehealth that considers both audio-only and audio-visual technologies relative to in-person care for somatic and behavioral health interventions in accordance with specified study components in law; and
  1. Develop a Final Recommendations Report and Technical Report. The Final Recommendations Report will be based in evidence from study findings and cross-referenced to the appropriate section(s) of the Technical Report. The Technical Report will include evidence and supporting rationale for all findings and conclusions.


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November 18, 2021

A draft provider survey is nearing completion and will be vetted with select health care providers in December. Planning activities are underway to promote provider awareness of the survey in advance of its January release. NORC provided MHCC with the telehealth literature review protocol for developing topic specific briefing papers. The literature review is targeted to begin by the end of November.

October 22, 2021

A kick-off meeting was held with the NORC project team to discuss the workplan and activities related to the provider survey, consumer engagement, and statistical analysis. NORC is exploring some additional options for MHCC’s consideration as it relates to consumer engagement. Next steps are to finalize the timeline and approach for distribution of the provider survey and the statistical analysis using claims data.

October 5, 2021

Planning is underway with NORC to commence study activities. NORC is preparing a final workplan to include each major step of the study with specific tasks, task milestones, responsible staff, and completion dates. A study kick-off meeting with representatives from MHCC and NORC is planned for October 20th. The purpose of the kick-off meeting is to discuss the study workplan, communication processes with MHCC and other stakeholders, and next steps for select study activities to be completed by the end of the year.

Nikki Majewski
Chief, Health Information Technology

Last Updated: 11/18/2021