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). For more historical information on telehealth grants, visit MHCC's Telehealth Grants web page or refer to this Telehealth Grants Summary Table. Information on past telehealth workgroups can be found on MHCC's Workgroups web page.

MHCC Telehealth Studies:   

2022-2023 

The MHCC will convene an Interstate Telehealth Workgroup to study matters presented in House Bill 670, Maryland Health Care Commission - Study on Expansion of InterstateTelehealth (2022). The study was requested by the House Health and Government Operations Committee (HGO Committee) after bill sponsors elected to withdraw the bill.  In June 2022, Westat was competitively selected to conduct research and participate in an MHCC convened workgroup composed of stakeholders that may be affected by or have an effect on expanded interstate telehealth practice. A final report detailing study findings, recommendations, and supporting rationale is due to the HGO Committee by December 1, 2023. Click here for more information.

2021-2022 

Chapter 70 (House Bill 123) and Chapter 71 (Senate Bill 3), Preserve Telehealth Access Act of 2021 (Act) required MHCC to study the impact of telehealth and provide recommendations on coverage and payment levels relative to in-person care.  In September 2021, the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago was competitively selected to conduct a telehealth study in accordance with the Act.  NORC completed study activities that considered use of audio-only and audio-visual technologies in the delivery of somatic and behavioral health services.  A technical findings report prepared by NORC informed MHCC's development of recommendations.  The recommendations recognize that telehealth should remain a feature of care delivery and support maintaining provisions in the Act to ensure access to care.  Recommendations also identify a need to further assess cost-effectiveness and quality of telehealth, and its impact on health equity.  The recommendations and supporting rationale are part of a final report submitted to the Senate Finance Committee and  House Health and Government Operations Committee and are intended to provide a framework for future telehealth legislation.  A high-level, one-page summary of the recommendations and supporting rationale is available here.  Click here for more information on the study.

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

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: 1/24/2023