Rhode Island 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 no licensure laws or regulations for telepractice. The absence of laws or regulations does not imply telepractice is allowed. Please contact the board for further information.

Telesupervision State Licensure Board Laws and Regulations

Telesupervision is permitted for support personnel under indirect supervision and not direct supervision. This state has no laws or regulations for telesupervision of clinical fellows or student interns.

Support Personnel

Permitted with indirect supervision.

Supervision and Responsibility

(d) provide supervision of the support personnel (other than newborn hearing screeners and school hearing screeners):

(2) observations of support audiometric aides must be completed and documented as to date, amount of time, and accuracy and efficacy of service according to the following:

(i) direct on-site observations of the first ten (10) hours of direct client contact; and five percent (5%) of all clinical sessions after the first ten hours for every forty (40) consecutive hours worked; and 10

(ii) indirect supervision (e.g. phone, interactive television, audio/video review or patient record review) of five percent (5%) of each forty (40) consecutive hours worked.

(3) observations of speech language pathology support personnel must be completed and documented as to date, amount of time, and accuracy and efficacy of service according to the following:

(i) direct on-site observations of the first ten (10) hours of direct client contact; and ten percent (10%) of clinical sessions after the first ten (10) hours of each forty (40) consecutive hours worked; and

(ii) Indirect supervision (e.g. phone, interactive television, audio/video review) of ten percent (10%) of each forty (40) consecutive hours worked.

Citation: 05-48 R.I. Code R. §6.3.1

Clinical Fellow

No regulations.

Student Intern

No regulations.  

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. Clinicians will have to contact payer sources to determine if and how telepractice is covered.

Telemedicine Coverage Act - Definitions

 (3) "Health care professional" means a physician or other health care practitioner licensed, accredited or certified to perform specified health care services consistent with state law. 

(4) "Health care provider" means a health care professional or a health care facility.

(5) "Health care services" means any services included in the furnishing to any individual of medical, podiatric, or dental care, or hospitalization, or incident to the furnishing of that care or hospitalization, and the furnishing to any person of any and all other services for the purpose of preventing, alleviating, curing, or healing human illness, injury, or physical disability.

(9) "Originating site" means a site at which a patient is located at the time health care services are provided to them by means of telemedicine, which can be a patient's home where medically appropriate; provided, however, notwithstanding any other provision of law, health insurers and health care providers may agree to alternative siting arrangements deemed appropriate by the parties.

Citation: R.I. Gen. Laws § 27-81-3.

Coverage of Telemedicine Services.

(a) Each health insurer that issues individual or group accident-and-sickness insurance policies for health-care services and/or provides a health-care plan for health-care services shall provide coverage for the cost of such covered health-care services provided through telemedicine services, as provided in this section.

(b) A health insurer shall not exclude a health-care service for coverage solely because the health-care service is provided through telemedicine and is not provided through in-person consultation or contact, so long as such health-care services are medically appropriate to be provided through telemedicine services and, as such, may be subject to the terms and conditions of a telemedicine agreement between the insurer and the participating health-care provider or provider group.

Citation: R.I. Gen. Laws § 27-81-4.

Telepractice Medicaid 

No laws or regulations identified that include audiology or speech-language pathology. 

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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