District of Columbia Telepractice Requirements for Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists

The information below is collected from state licensure boards or regulatory agencies responsible for regulating the professions of audiology and/or speech-language pathology. The information is reviewed on an annual basis. Please be advised that laws, regulations, and policies may change at any time, so always check with your state for the most up-to-date information.

Telepractice State Licensure Board Requirements

This state has a policy statement for telepractice.

DC Policy Statement – Licensure of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists who Engage in Telepractice in the District of Columbia [PDF]

Policy Statement - The Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology will deem it a violation of its regulations if an audiologist or speech-language pathologist provides services in the District of Columbia without a District of Columbia license, regardless of whether the professional providing services is physically located in the District of Columbia or another jurisdiction.

District of Columbia law at Title 3, Chapter 12, section 1205.01, requires the licensure of providers of health care services in the District of Columbia. With regard to audiologists and speech-language pathologists, the law provides as follows: License, registration, or certification required. (a) A license issued pursuant to this chapter is required to practice, audiology, speech-language pathology in the District, except as otherwise provided in this chapter. 

Telesupervision State Licensure Board Laws and Regulations

This state has no laws or regulations for telesupervision of support personnel and the regulations are unclear for clinical fellows and student interns. The language indicates the possibility of telesupervision depending on interpretation. Contact licensure board for clarification.

Support Personnel

No regulations.

Clinical Fellow

Clinical fellows must have general supervision.  

General supervision – supervision in which the supervisor is available to the supervisee, either in person or by a communications device.

Citations:

D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 17 §7899 Audiology Definitions [PDF]

D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 17 §7999 Speech Language Pathology Definitions [PDF]

Student Intern

Students must have direct supervision.  

Direct supervision – supervision in which the supervisor is immediately available on the premises to the supervisee and within vocal communication of the supervisee either directly or by a communication device.

Citations:

D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 17 §7899 Audiology Definitions [PDF]

D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 17 §7999 Speech-Language Pathology Definitions [PDF]

Telepractice Reimbursement Laws and Regulations

Telepractice Private Insurance

The law is not clearly defined indicating that any healthcare provider and service may be covered. It is left up to interpretation and/or will be determined by the payers. Clinician will have to contact payer sources to determine if and how telepractice is covered for audiology and speech-language pathology services.

Health Benefits Plans Prompt Payment - Definitions (7) "Provider" means a health care practitioner, group of health care practitioners, or other entity licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized by law to provide hospital, physician, or other health care services.

Citation: D.C. Code § 31- 3131

Private reimbursement

(a)  A health insurer offering a health benefits plan in the District may not deny coverage for a healthcare service on the basis that the service is provided through telehealth if the same service would be covered when delivered in person.

(b)  A health insurer shall reimburse the provider for the diagnosis, consultation, or treatment of the insured when the service is delivered through telehealth.

(c)  A health insurer shall not be required to:
(1)  Reimburse a provider for healthcare service delivered through telehealth that is not a covered under the health benefits plan; and
(2)  Reimburse a provider who is not a covered provider under the health benefits plan.

(d)  A health insurer may require a deductible, copayment, or coinsurance amount for a healthcare service delivered through teleheath; provided, that the deductible, copayment, or coinsurance amount may not exceed the amount applicable to the same service when it is delivered in person.

(e)  A health insurer shall not impose any annual or lifetime dollar maximum on coverage for telehealth services other than an annual or lifetime dollar maximum that applies in the aggregate to all items and services under the health benefits plan.

(f)  Nothing in this chapter shall preclude the health insurer from undertaking utilization review to determine the appropriateness of telehealth as a means of delivering a healthcare service; provided, that the determinations shall be made in the same manner as those regarding the same service when it is delivered in person.

Citation: D.C. Code § 31-3862

Telepractice Medicaid

The law is not clearly defined indicating that any healthcare provider and service may be covered. It is left up to interpretation and/or will be determined by the payers. Clinicians will have to contact payer sources to determine if and how telepractice is covered for audiology and speech-language pathology services.

Medicaid reimbursement. Medicaid shall cover and reimburse for healthcare services appropriately delivered through telehealth if the same services would be covered when delivered in person.

Citations:

D.C. Code § 31-3863

D.C. Telemedicine Provider Guidance [PDF]

III. Participant Eligibility

The program shall reimburse approved telemedicine providers only if participants meet the following criteria:

  1. Participants must be enrolled in the District of Columbia Medical Assistance Program;
  2. Participants must be physically present at the originating site at the time the telemedicine service is rendered; and
  3. Participants must provide written consent to receive telemedicine services in lieu of inperson healthcare services, consistent with all applicable District laws.

IV. Provider Site Eligibility

The following providers shall be considered an originating site for service delivery via telemedicine.

  • Hospital
  • Nursing Facility
  • Federally Qualified Health Center
  • Clinic
  • Physician Group/Office
  • Nurse Practitioner Group/Office
  • DCPS
  • DCPCS
  • Core Service Agency

IX. Covered Services

A description of services that may be delivered via telemedicine is included in Appendix A. The services include:

  • Evaluation and management
  • Consultation of an evaluation and management of a specific healthcare problem requested by an originating site provider
  • Behavioral healthcare services including, but not limited to, psychiatric evaluation and treatment, psychotherapies, and counseling; and
  • Speech therapy

ASHA Guidance

Telepractice State Licensure

  • Obtain a license from the state in which you reside and from the state in which the patient/client resides.
  • If a state has not established regulations on telepractice, then contact the licensure board for further guidance and ask for written verification.
  • It is the responsibility of the clinician to review the regulations on the state licensure board website in their entirety and regularly for updates or changes.

Telesupervision

If a state has not established regulations on telesupervision, then contact the licensure board for further guidance and ask for written verification.

Reimbursement for Telepractice Services

Audiologists and speech-language pathologists should keep in mind that while a state may have passed telepractice reimbursement laws and/or regulations, this does not guarantee that payers will reimburse for these services. Learn more about considerations for audiologists and speech-language pathologists.  

Resources

For further information on telepractice requirements for audiologists and speech-language pathologists, please visit these websites:

Questions regarding state advocacy issues? Call ASHA at 800-498-2071 and ask for the State Advocacy Team.  

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