New Mexico 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 licensure laws and/or regulations for telepractice.

Hearing, Speech and Audiology Practitioners – General Provision

Definitions 

Z. "Telecommunication technology" includes but is not limited to a dedicated video system, computer or other similar device linked via hardwire or internet connection, equipment, connectivity, software, hardware and network-compatible devices.

AA. "Telehealth" means the use of telecommunications and information technologies for the exchange of information from one site to another for the provision of Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology or Hearing Aid Dispensing services to an individual from a provider through hardwire or internet connection.

BB. "Telepractice" means the practice of telehealth.

Citation: N.M. Code R. § 16.26.1.7

Requirements for All Applicants who Practice Telehealth

A.  An audiologist, speech-language pathologist or hearing aid dispenser licensed in New Mexico may use telecommunication technology to deliver services to a person residing in New Mexico who is physically present at a different location from the provider at the time services are received, so long as the services delivered through use of telecommunication technology meet or exceed the quality of services delivered face-to-face.

B.  An audiologist, speech-language pathologist or hearing aid dispenser who resides outside the boundaries of the state of New Mexico and delivers services or products to residents of New Mexico shall be licensed by the board.

C.  An audiologist, speech-language pathologist or hearing aid dispenser using telecommunication technology to deliver services shall have necessary knowledge and skills, obtained through education, training and experience to use such technology competently.

D. Telecommunication technology used to deliver services must be equivalent to that provided in person. 

E.  A licensed audiologist, speech-language pathologist or hearing aid dispenser must be physically present at all times at the hub site while interactive telecommunication technology is used to deliver services to a client physically present at a remote site.

F.  A licensed audiologist, speech-language pathologist or hearing aid dispenser using telecommunication technology to deliver services to a client shall:

(1) assess the client's ability to participate meaningfully in the services delivered through telecommunications, including but not limited to the client’s physical, cognitive and behavioral abilities;

(2)  calibrate properly the clinical instruments used for delivery of services in accordance with standard operating procedures and manufacturer specifications;

(3)  train properly the facilitator at the client-patient site if used;

(4)  comply with all laws and rules governing maintenance of client records, including but not limited to client confidentiality requirements; and

(5)  comply with all professional standards governing delivery of services including the applicable Code of Ethics

G.  A licensed audiologist, speech-language pathologist or hearing aid dispenser using telecommunication technology to deliver services to a client shall provide notice to the client, guardian, caregiver and multi-disciplinary team as appropriate, including but not limited to the right to refuse telehealth services, options for service delivery and instruction on filing and resolving complaints.

H.  An audiologist, speech-language pathologist or hearing aid dispenser shall not deliver services to a client solely through the use of regular mail, facsimile or electronic mail, although these methods of communication may be used to supplement the face-to-face delivery of services or through the use of telecommunication technology.

Citation: N.M. Code R. § 16.26.2.20

Telesupervision State Licensure Board Laws and Regulations

Telesupervision is permitted for Clinical Fellows and Student Interns. The language indicates the possibility of telesupervision for support personnel. Contact licensure board for clarification. 

Definitions

J. "Direct supervision" means on-site, in-view observation and guidance while a clinical activity is performed by the supervisee. This can include viewing and communicating with the supervisee via telecommunication technology so long as the supervisor or qualified sponsor is able to provide ongoing immediate feedback. Direct supervision does not include reviewing a taped session at a later time.

O. "Indirect supervision" means supervision that does not require the SLP to be physically present or available via telecommunication in real time while the supervisee is providing services. Indirect supervisory activities may include demonstration tapes, record review, review and evaluation of audio or videotaped sessions, or supervisory conferences that may be conducted by telephone or live, secure webcam via the internet.

Citation: N.M. Code R. § 16.26.1.7 

Support Personnel

Not clearly defined.

Clinical Fellow

Permitted

Student Intern

Permitted

Telepractice Reimbursement Laws and Regulations

Telepractice Private Insurance

The law is not clearly defined indicating that any health care 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 telepractice is covered.  

Coverage for telemedicine services

(H)(2)  "health care provider" means a duly licensed hospital or other licensed facility, physician or other health care professional authorized to furnish health care services within the scope of the professional's license;

Citation: N.M. Stat. § 59A-22-49.3 

Telepractice Medicaid

The law includes audiology and speech-language pathology telepractice services for health care and school settings.

M. Telemedicine Services

(1) The telemedicine originating-site is the location of a MAP eligible recipient at the time the service is being furnished via an interactive telemedicine communications system. The origination-site can be any medically warranted site. An interactive telemedicine communication system must include both interactive audio and video and be delivered on a real-time basis at the originating and distant-sites. Coverage for services rendered through telemedicine shall be determined in a manner consistent with medicaid coverage for health care services provided through in person consultation. For telemedicine services, when the originating-site is in New Mexico and the distant-site (consulting telemedicine provider) is outside New Mexico, the provider at the distant-site must be licensed for telemedicine to the extent required by New Mexico state law and regulations or meet federal requirements for providing services to IHS facilities or tribal contract facilities. Provision of telemedicine services does not require that a certified medicaid healthcare provider be physically present with the patient at the originating site unless the telemedicine consultant at the distant site deems it necessary.

(2) The distant-site is the location where the consulting telemedicine provider is physically located at time of the telemedicine service. All services are covered to the same extent the service and the provider are covered when not provided through telemedicine. For these services, use of the telemedicine communications system fulfills the requirement for a face-to-face encounter.

(3) MAD will reimburse for services delivered through store-and forward. To be eligible for payment under store-and-forward, the service must be provided through the transference of digital images, sounds, or previously recorded video from one location to another; to allow a consulting provider to obtain information, analyze it, and report back to the referring physician providing the telemedicine consultation. Store-and-forward telemedicine includes encounters that do not occur in real time (asynchronous) and are consultations that do not require a face-to-face live encounter between patient and telemedicine provider.

(4) Telemedicine providers: Reimbursement for professional services at the originating-site and the distant-site are made at the same rate as when the services provided are furnished without the use of a telecommunication system. In addition, reimbursement is made to the originating-site for an interactive telemedicine system fee at the lesser of the provider’s billed charge; or the maximum allowed by MAD for the specific service or procedure. 13 8.310.2 NMAC

(5) A telemedicine originating-site communication system fee is covered if the MAP eligible recipient was present at and participated in the telemedicine visit at the originating-site and the system in use meets the definition of a telemedicine system.

(6) Noncovered telemedicine services: A service provided through telemedicine is subject to the same program restrictions, limitations and coverage which exist for the service when not provided through telemedicine.

Citation: N.M. Code R. § 8.310.2.12 

Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) Services

H. Telemedicine services: MAD covers school-based services provided via telemedicine; see 8.310.2. NMAC.

Citation: N.M. Code R. § 8.320.6.13 

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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