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Nebraska

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Click here to download the COVID-19 Virtual Visit & Reimbursement Guide for Nebraska

Medicaid Policies

TELEHEALTH DEFINITION: “The use of medical information electronically exchanged from one site to another, whether synchronously or asynchronously, to aid a health care provider in the diagnosis or treatment of a patient”

SERVICE PARITY: Insurers cannot exclude services from coverage solely because they are delivered via telehealth

PAYMENT PARITY: Telehealth is covered by and reimbursed under Medicaid fee-for-service, and its reimbursement is, at a minimum, the same rate as comparable in-person services.

PREREQUISITES TO TELEHEALTH: Patients must give written consent before an initial telehealth consultation

REMOTE MONITORING: Reimbursable when the services are from the originating site, the client is cognitively capable of operating the equipment or has an able person to assist, the originating site has space for program equipment/transmission capability, and the provider keeps record of the medical necessity of the service/patient data (paid per diem)

ORIGINATING SITES: A location where the patient’s “right for confidential and private services is protected.” “The originating site fee is paid to the Medicaid-enrolled facility hosting the client for telehealth at a rate set forth in the Medicaid fee schedule.”

FQHCs and RHCs: 

  • FEE FOR SERVICE REIMBURSEMENT STRUCTURE
  • Payment for telehealth services will be the Medicaid rate for the comparable in-person service. FQHC core services provided via telehealth technologies are not covered under the encounter rate.
  • Telehealth transmission costs will be the lower of: 1) The provider’s submitted charge; or 2) The maximum allowable amount

OTHER NE MEDICAID POLICIES:

A patient’s home may constitute an originating site

In-person contact between a health care practitioner and patient is not required under Nebraska’s Medical Assistance Program

Medicaid managed care contracts include coverage of telehealth-delivered services

Out of state telehealth is covered if it otherwise meets regulatory requirements for services provided outside Nebraska AND either the patient or provider is within Nebraska

Medicaid will cover telehealth and transmission costs when the technology meets industry standards and is HIPAA compliant

For Medicaid home & community based waiver services for individuals with developmental disabilities:

  • Observations can be done in person or via telehealth

Providing behavioral health services to children via telehealth:

  • A trained staff member must be immediately available to a child receiving telehealth behavioral health service.

Temporary COVID-19 Policies (NE Medicaid)

NEWLY ELIGIBLE SERVICES:

WAIVED REQUIREMENTS:

FQHCs and RHCs: 

  • Receive rate specified by code G0071 (payment for communication technology-based services for 5 minutes or more of a virtual (not face-to-face) communication between an FQHC or RHC practitioner and a FQHC or RHC patient) when the 5-minute (minimum) communication is with a patient who has had an RHC/FQHC billable visit within the previous year AND the visit is for a condition not related to an FQHC/RHC service provided within the previous 7 days AND the visit does not lead to an FQHC/RHC visit within the next 24 hours/next available appointment

 


Commercial Payer Policies

TELEHEALTH DEFINITION: “The use of medical information electronically exchanged from one site to another, whether synchronously or asynchronously, to aid a health care provider in the diagnosis or treatment of a patient.” Services may originate from the patient’s home.

SERVICE PARITY: Insurers cannot exclude services from coverage solely because they are delivered via telehealth

PAYMENT PARITY: No explicit payment parity

PENDING LEGISLATION: A bill currently in legislature, LB 760, would require private insurers to cover telehealth benefits in the same way as other benefits, would not allow for the exclusion of asynchronous review by a dermatologist from coverage and would require reimbursement for this asynchronous service.

Temporary COVID-19 Policies (NE Commercial Payers)

WAIVED REQUIREMENTS: The requirement for written consent from patients before initiating telehealth is suspended. Insurers cannot deny claims for telehealth service based solely on lack of a signed written agreement.


Medical Board Policies

Patient-provider relationship can be established via telehealth

Prescribing allowable via telehealth within provider’s scope of practice

PENDING LEGISLATION: LB503 would allow patients to receive medical abortion services through telehealth

Nebraska Professional Licensure Compacts

Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

Temporary COVID-19 Policies (NE Medical Board)

Providers are no longer required to gain patient’s signature before initiating telehealth

Out-of-state providers can provide telehealth in Nebraska

Formerly licensed practitioners (in APN, EMS, medicine and surgery (includes PAs), mental health practice, nursing, osteopathy, perfusion, pharmacy, psychology, respiratory care, surgical assisting) can continue to practice without being subject to continuing competency requirements 

  • Competency and licensing requirements are deferred
  • Regulations for initial licensure are lessened


Mid-Level Providers

Nebraska Mid-Level Professional Licensure Compacts

Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact

Temporary COVID-19 Policies (NE Mid-Levels)

EO 20-10 allows certain professionals to practice telehealth, including Nebraska licensees located within or without Nebraska and licensees from other states

  • Applies to people in these professions: Advanced practice nursing (CNMs, NPs, CNSs, CRNAs), Emergency medical services (EMR, EMT, AEMT, paramedics), MDs, Physician Assistants, Acupuncturists, Licensed independent mental health practitioners (LIMHP), Licensed mental health practitioners (LMHP), Provisional licensed mental health practitioners (PLMHP), Social Workers, RNs, LPNs, DOs, Perfusionists, Pharmacists, Pharmacists Interns, Pharmacist technicians, Psychologists, Provisional licensed psychologists (PLP), Respiratory care practitioners, Surgical first assistants

Formerly licensed practitioners (in APN, EMS, medicine and surgery (includes PAs), mental health practice, nursing, osteopathy, perfusion, pharmacy, psychology, respiratory care, surgical assisting) can continue to practice without being subject to continuing competency requirements 

  • Competency and licensing requirements are deferred
  • Regulations for initial licensure are lessened


Behavioral Health Providers

Nebraska Mental Health Professional Licensure Compacts

Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact

Temporary COVID-19 Policies (NE Mental Health Providers)

EO 20-10 allows certain professionals to practice telehealth, including Nebraska licensees located within or without Nebraska and licensees from other states

  • Applies to people in these professions: Advanced practice nursing (CNMs, NPs, CNSs, CRNAs), Emergency medical services (EMR, EMT, AEMT, paramedics), MDs, Physician Assistants, Acupuncturists, Licensed independent mental health practitioners (LIMHP), Licensed mental health practitioners (LMHP), Provisional licensed mental health practitioners (PLMHP), Social Workers, RNs, LPNs, DOs, Perfusionists, Pharmacists, Pharmacists Interns, Pharmacist technicians, Psychologists, Provisional licensed psychologists (PLP), Respiratory care practitioners, Surgical first assistants

Formerly licensed practitioners (in APN, EMS, medicine and surgery (includes PAs), mental health practice, nursing, osteopathy, perfusion, pharmacy, psychology, respiratory care, surgical assisting) can continue to practice without being subject to continuing competency requirements 

  • Competency and licensing requirements are deferred
  • Regulations for initial licensure are lessened
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