Ducey expands telemedicine coverage for Arizonans

Above: Dr. Bart Demaerschalk, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, says telemedicine can reduce costs by eliminating emergency air and ground transportation. (Photo by Jennifer Alvarez/Cronkite News) Business News | 25 Mar |

Governor Ducey today issued an Executive Order requiring health care insurance companies to expand telemedicine coverage for all services that would normally be covered for an in-person visit. The order helps ensure that Arizonans who may be sick or under quarantine can access care from their homes and avoid potentially risky trips to a health care provider. It remains in effect until the termination of the declared public health emergency. 

“Access to health care is crucial at a time like this,” said Governor Ducey. “This order will ensure that Arizonans can access care without having to leave home while freeing up much-needed capacity for our health care providers and hospitals. It’s commonsense and helps ensure our most vulnerable continue to have access to care in a way that protects them and public health.”

Yesterday, Governor Ducey took steps to free up physicians for other needed medical services and ensure access to health care for kids and vulnerable Arizonans receiving care through KidsCare and AHCCCS.

Today’s Executive Order prevents insurers from charging more for a telemedicine visit than they would for an in-person visit. In addition, the order:

• Requires all Medicaid plans in the State of Arizona to cover all health care services that are covered benefits to be accessible by telemedicine to AHCCCS members, while prohibiting those plans from discounting rates for services provided via telemedicine;

• Includes all electronic means of delivering telehealth including telephone and video calls;

• Ensures that a patient’s home is considered an approved location to receive telemedicine services;

• And prohibits a regulatory board from requiring a medical professional who is authorized to write prescriptions to conduct an in-person examination of a patient prior to the issuance of a prescription.

View the Executive Order HERE.

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