Telemedicine is Coming to Massachusetts!
Report on MaMHCA Meeting with BCBSMA on Thursday, November 19, 2015
MaMHCA is pleased to announce that Blue Cross and Blue Shield MA (BCBSMA) will begin a Pilot Project - Paying for Telemedicine Sessions Beginning January 1, 2016 under the following conditions:
The LMHCs (and other behavioral health providers with contracts with BCBSMA ) has a current contract with BCBSMA
The client is a fully insured BCBSMA member
The Provider attests to using a HIPAA-secure/approved device and software (which the client also downloads)
For only 2 Procedure Codes:
Initial Evaluation, and
30 minute sessions
Rates will be set by "AmericanWell", who will manage all BCBSMA telemedicine services, and may be different than 2015-2016 rates for the same services in office.
This announcement comes following a series of recent meetings between BCBSMA and MaMHCA and other professional associations, acknowledging service needs and provider shortages.
The Pilot project will be assessing if this service increases access and is cost effective. Other procedure codes may be added in the future. MaMHCA will be actively involved in the discussions to advocate that more codes are added and that rates align themselves more closely to those for face to face meetings.
MaMHCA will be providing more information to members about this project and other positive discussions with BCBSMA soon.
Joseph Weeks, LMHC, President and Public Policy Director
Midge Williams, LMHC, Executive Director