In its end-of-year report to the Legislature on the effects of telemedicine in Texas Medicaid, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) found that only a small number of physicians utilized telemedicine services. This finding, however, said HHSC in the report, could be due to the way providers report the use of telemedicine services.
"HHSC continues to encourage the use of telemedicine to increase access to care in medically underserved areas of the state," continued the report which said the Commission is also making changes to improve the use of telemedicine services. "These changes will increase the types of medical services that may be reimbursed through telemedicine, expand allowable patient-site presenters, remove limitations on distant-site providers, add reimbursement of a facility fee payable to the patient site, and add local health departments as an additional location where patients may receive telemedicine services. In conjunction with these changes," continued the report, "HHSC is also increasing its ability to track telemedicine utilization and distinguish between patient and distant sites, thereby increasing the ability to further analyze the use of telemedicine in Texas Medicaid."