Medical telecommunications and Texas Health Steps
Many patients and families have found telehealth to be a valuable means to access their medical home, pediatric medical subspecialists, or pediatric surgical specialists, particularly those who live in rural and underserved communities.American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), 2020
Texas Medicaid covers medical telecommunication services for a range of medical, behavioral health and therapy services for children and adolescents. In general, the term telemedicine refers to medical services and telehealth refers to behavioral health and therapy services that are delivered remotely.
Learn more about flexibilities due to COVID-19 and other health emergencies
Normally, preventive medical checkups for children and adolescents provided through Texas Health Steps are not eligible for remote delivery through telemedicine. However, during special circumstances, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and other health emergencies, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) may allow some of these services to be performed remotely. Visit HHSC’s Medicaid and CHIP Services Information for Providers web page to learn about current COVID-19 flexibilities.
The web page provides updated information about HHSC rules and regulations governing medical telecommunication services from a variety of Texas Medicaid providers, including federally qualified health centers, rural health centers, and specialized therapies and nursing services.
Test your knowledge of telemedicine and telehealth services for children and adolescents enrolled in Texas Health Steps.
Need to Know
- A responsible adult should be present with a child or adolescent during any medical telecommunication appointment.
- A patient or parent/caregiver’s written or verbal consent for telemedicine or telehealth must be documented in the patient’s medical record.
- Providers should consult HHSC’s Medicaid and CHIP Services Information for Providers web page for current rules and requirements about telecommunication appointments.
Why it Matters
Telemedicine and telehealth are promising methods to provide medical, behavioral health and therapy services to children and adolescents in an affordable and professional manner. The AAP endorses quality medical communications for young patients. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that medical telecommunications can serve as a key method of delivering health care to children and adolescents, whose growth and development call for regular and periodic monitoring.
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2020). Guidance on the Necessary Use of Telehealth During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Cleveland Clinic. (2018). Improve Your Webside Manner: Tips on Virtual Visits. How to connect with patients through the screen.
Wales, D., Skinner, L., & Hayman, M. (2017). The Efficacy of Telehealth-Delivered Speech and Language Intervention for Primary School-Age Children: A Systematic Review. International journal of telerehabilitation, 9(1), 55–70.