RICHLAND CENTER — Gov. Tony Evers today signed bipartisan legislation, Senate Bill 380, now 2019 Wisconsin Act 56. The bill increases Wisconsin residents’ access to health care professionals through the use of telehealth services. Medicaid will now provide reimbursements for more remote patient care.
“Wisconsin residents deserve access to quality health care, regardless of where they live in our state,” Gov. Evers said. “Technology is one way to help folks get connected to the care they need, especially for residents in rural communities where they are struggling with provider shortages. I am encouraged to see this bill pass with such bipartisan support and I am proud to sign it into law today.”
“Telehealth expansion will pave the way to significantly increase access to health care professionals including behavioral health care professionals,” Sec.-designee Andrea Palm said. “This is especially important for people who struggle with substance use disorders. Because of this legislation, patients can now receive treatment remotely.”
With over 1 million Medicaid members in Wisconsin, these changes will significantly increase access to medical and behavioral health care.
Senate Bill 380, now 2019 Wisconsin Act 56, requires the Department of Health Services (DHS) to:
- Treat telehealth services the same as in-person services. The bill ensures Medicaid can reimburse for remote patient care and monitoring services;
- Ensure that Medicaid reimburses for the same telehealth services that Medicare covers;
- Allow patients to receive telehealth services at home or at school, or other non-clinical locations. Medicaid will no longer be required to restrict payment based on the location of the Medicaid patient;
- Removes telehealth provider certification requirements, which will expand access to behavioral health and substance disorder use services for Medicaid patients.