Oklahoma 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. 

Use of Telepractice

a. Licensees may provide speech-language pathology and audiology services to clients in Oklahoma by utilizing telepractice. Telepractice means the use of audio, video, or data communication to provide speech-language pathology and audiology services to clients who are not present at the same site as the licensee when the service is provided.

b. Except as provided in 59 O.S § 1604, no practitioner licensed in another state may deliver speech-language pathology and audiology services via telepractice to clients located in Oklahoma, unless licensed in Oklahoma.

c. Telepractice must conform to the same standards of practice required when the client is present at the same site as the licensee when the service is provided.

d. Speech-language pathologists and audiologists providing services via telepractice must be trained in the use of telepractice equipment and are responsible for ensuring that support persons who assist with service delivery at the site where the client is located are properly trained. The telecommunications technology used for service delivery must meet standards established by professional organizations recognized by the Board, and comply with applicable state and federal laws and regulations.

e. Telepractice must be an appropriate method of service delivery for the service provided and for the unique needs and abilities of each client. 

Citation: Okla. Admin. Code § 690:10-3-9

Ethical Proscriptions

(D) Licensees must not provide clinical services except in a professional relationship. They must not evaluate or treat solely by correspondence or telepractice.

Correspondence means a type of practice which services are delivered through communication methods that do not involve same-time interactivity between the licensee and the patient, such as regular mail, email, and facsimile. This does not preclude follow-up correspondence with persons previously seen, or providing them with general information of an educational nature.

Citation: Okla. Admin. Code § 690:15-1-4

Telesupervision State Licensure Board Laws and Regulations

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

Support Personnel

Not clearly defined.

Clinical Fellow

Not clearly defined.

Student Intern

Not clearly defined.

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 and how telepractice is covered. 

Coverage of telemedicine services

A.  For services that a health care practitioner determines to be appropriately provided by means of telemedicine, health care service plans, disability insurer programs, workers' compensation programs, or state Medicaid managed care program contracts issued, amended, or renewed on or after January 1, 1998, shall not require person-to-person contact between a health care practitioner and a patient.

B.  Subsection A of this section shall apply to health care service plan contracts with the state Medicaid managed care program only to the extent that both of the following apply:

1. Telemedicine services are covered by, and reimbursed under, the fee-for-service provisions of the state Medicaid managed care program; and

2. State Medicaid managed care program contracts with health care service plans are amended to add coverage of telemedicine services and make any appropriate capitation rate adjustments.

Citation: Okla. Stat. tit. 36 § 6803

Telepractice Medicaid 

The law is not clearly defined indicating that any healthcare provider and service may be covered under the managed care plan.  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.

Telehealth

(a)  Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this Section, shall have the following meaning, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

(1)  "Remote patient monitoring" means the use of digital technologies to collect medical and other forms of health data (e.g. vital signs, weight, blood pressure, blood sugar) from individuals in one location and electronically transmit that information securely to health care providers in a different location for assessment and recommendations.

(2)  "Store and forward" means the acquisition (storing) of clinical information (e.g. data, document, image, sound, video) that is then electronically transmitted (forwarded to or retrieved by) to another site for clinical evaluation.

(3)  "Telehealth" means the mode of delivering healthcare services via information and communication technologies to facilitate the diagnosis, consultation, treatment, education, care management, and self-management of patients, at a distance from health care providers.

(c)  Conditions. The following conditions apply to all services rendered via telehealth.

(1)  Interactive audio and video telecommunications must be used, permitting encrypted real-time communication between the physician or practitioner and the SoonerCare member. The telecommunication service must be secure and adequate to protect the confidentiality and integrity of the telehealth information transmitted. As a condition of payment the member must actively participate in the telehealth visit.

(2)  The telehealth equipment and transmission speed and image must be technically sufficient to support the service billed. If a peripheral diagnostic scope is required to assess the member, it must provide adequate resolution or audio quality for decision making. Staff involved in the telehealth visit need to be trained in the use of the telehealth equipment and competent in its operation.

(3)  The medical or behavioral health related service must be provided at an appropriate site for the delivery of telehealth services. An appropriate telehealth site is one that has the proper security measures in place; the appropriate administrative, physical and technical safeguards should be in place that ensures the confidentiality, integrity and security of electronic protected health information. The location of the room for the encounter at both ends should ensure comfort, privacy and confidentiality. Both visual and audio privacy are important, placement and selection of the rooms should consider this. Appropriate telehealth equipment and networks must be used considering factors such as appropriate screen size, resolution and security. Providers and/or members may provide or receive telehealth services outside of Oklahoma when medically necessary.

(4)  The provider must be contracted with SoonerCare and appropriately licensed for the service to be provided. If the provider is outside of Oklahoma, the provider must comply with all laws and regulations of the provider's location, including health care and telehealth requirements.

(d)  Reimbursement.

(1)  Health care services delivered by telehealth such as Remote Patient Monitoring, Store and Forward, or any other telehealth technology, must be compensable by OHCA in order to be reimbursed.

(2)  Services provided by telehealth must be billed with the appropriate modifier.

(e)  Documentation. 

(2)  Documentation must indicate the services were rendered via telemedicine, and the location of the services.

Citation: Okla. Admin. Code § 317:30-3-27 Telehealth 

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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