Health Information Technology  Telehealth  

Overview

Telehealth is a maturing mode for delivering health care, health education, and health information services. Modalities (such as audio-visual and remote patient monitoring) support an array of services and provide a means to address disparities linked to geography by bridging gaps in access to timely care. Effective use of telehealth can improve care coordination, monitor and treat at-risk populations, expand population health programs, and reach underserved patients (such as those in designated Health Professional Shortage Areas). 

The MHCC views telehealth as an important strategy to improve access to care and reduce health care costs (click here for more information about MHCC strategic priorities). Over the last ten years, MHCC telehealth initiatives have included a range of activities that provide technical support to providers adopting telehealth, foster peer learning about best practices, assess the effectiveness of select use cases in various settings through demonstration projects, and build consumer awareness about telehealth. Click here for more information about MHCC telehealth initiatives. Click here for more information on initiatives implemented or expanded in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE).

Telehealth Study: The Preserve Telehealth Access Act of 2021 requires MHCC to conduct a study on the impact of telehealth services as it relates to use of audio-only and audio-visual technologies for somatic and behavioral health interventions. Findings will inform the development of recommendations on audio-only and audio-visual coverage and payment levels relative to in-person care. A report is due to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Health and Government Operations Committee by December 1, 2022. Click here for more information and updates on study progress.

MHCC Resources

Health Care Providers
A Telehealth Virtual Resource Center with information and tools to help
practices implement and expand telehealth services
Health Care Consumers
Educational materials, including answers to frequently asked questions about
virtual care
Telehealth Readiness Assessment (TRA) Tool
A self-assessment questionnaire to help small ambulatory practices
determine readiness to implement or scale a telehealth project
Preparing for Teledentistry - A Guide for Dental Practices
A self-assessment questionnaire and supporting guidance to gauge
teledentistry readiness and identify areas for improvement
On-Demand Webinars
Presentations on a variety of telehealth topics, including compliance and
reimbursement, consumer engagement, and school-based telehealth

Grants

Since 2014, MHCC has awarded 17 telehealth grants to qualified health care organizations operating in Maryland. These grants fund the implementation and evaluation of innovative telehealth projects across various settings. Lessons learned inform future applications of telehealth, better practices and implementation efforts, and policy development. Findings support planning to design and scale telehealth programs to larger or different patient populations.

In April 2020, MHCC awarded grant funding to State Designated Management Service Organizations (MSOs) to support response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. MSOs provided technical support and guidance to small ambulatory practices implementing virtual care options. Click here for more information on program highlights. For more historical information on telehealth grants, visit MHCC’s Telehealth Grants web page or refer to this Telehealth Grants Summary Table

Workgroups

Telehealth Policy Workgroup

In the fall of 2020, MHCC convened a Telehealth Policy Workgroup (workgroup) to discuss changes in telehealth policy implemented in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). Workgroup discussions centered on use of telehealth during the PHE and considered the permanence of certain expansion policies. A report overviews the evolving telehealth landscape in Maryland and the nation and leading observations from the workgroup. Click here for more information on the workgroup.

School-Based Telehealth Workgroup

In March 2018, the Senate Finance Committee expressed a need to assess policies in the State governing school-based telehealth. The MHCC was tasked with convening a stakeholder workgroup to identify deficiencies in existing policies that limit diffusion of telehealth in schools, and develop recommendations – statutory, regulatory, or technical – to inform policy development. The MHCC submitted an interim report in January 2019 and a final report in October 2019. The recommendations serve a starting point to foster substantive policy changes that enable telehealth to be integrated into the standard of care in Maryland schools. Click here for more information.

Helpful Links

HIPAA and Telehealth

Guidance for ensuring telehealth practice is compliant with federal and State regulations

Maryland Medicaid Telehealth Program

Information, including frequently asked questions about the Maryland Medicaid Telehealth Program 

Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center

One of 14 national Telehealth Resource Centers providing technical assistance and other resources to advance telehealth, particularly in rural and medically underserved communities

Additional Information

Health Equity and Telehealth - U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Telehealth in Rural Communities – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Telehealth for the Treatment of Serious Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Developing a School-Based Telehealth Strategy - U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Contact

For more information, contact Nikki Majewski by phone 410-764-3839 or email at nicole.majewski@maryland.gov.


Last Updated: 1/11/2022