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Guidance: Emergency Telehealth Rule Changes

As of March 9, Ohio Medicaid health care providers can use telemedicine in place of in-person visits. These rules will relax regulations so that more people can be served safely in their homes.

This is a regulatory change being offered by the Ohio Department of Medicaid to help reduce the risk of exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) for patients, their families, and the health care workforce. In addition to increasing access to care, these rules also seek to reduce pressure on Ohio hospitals. 

Providers must document their use of telemedicine and meet minimum standards of care.  

People should ask if their health care providers are offering the newly authorized services. All Medicaid changes apply to Medicaid fee-for-service (FFS), Managed Care Plan (MCP), and MyCare Ohio Plan (MCOP) services. 

Ohio Department of Medicaid Guidance

The Ohio Department of Medicaid is working to make access to care easier and more flexible during the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency, in partnership with the governor’s office, sister agencies as well as managed care plans, providers and consumers, has:

  • expanded telehealth services to include a wide array of medical, clinical, and behavioral health providers and counselors,
  • eased technology restrictions on patient-physician interaction to deliver telehealth services,
  • reduced prior authorization requirements to for many medical and behavioral services,
  • enhanced pharmacy benefits, eliminating in- and out-of-network restrictions, pharmaceutical co-pays while increasing pharmacy reimbursements for over the counter medications,
  • enabled nursing home and congregate care members to access telehealth services with no prior authorization.

Learn more about the emergency provisions now in place for Medicaid beneficiaries and their providers

Ohio Medicaid Emergency Telehealth Guidance

Information and Resources 

Governor Mike DeWine’s Emergency Order  

Telehealth Changes Summary and FAQ 

Emergency Rule 5160-1-21 

Appendix to Emergency Rule 5160-1-21 

Please continue to exercise flexibility to ensure the health and safety of Ohioans with developmental disabilities and their families.

DODD support teams are available to help county boards and providers.

DODD has set up a dedicated web page for department communications and links to helpful resources that will advise people with disabilities, their families, service providers, direct support professionals, county boards of developmental disabilities, and the community at large.

For specific questions about COVID-19 and additional information and resources, DODD urges you to use the Ohio Department of Health’s call center. Call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634), or visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.