Washington 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

This state has no laws or regulations for telesupervision of support personnel, clinical fellows or student interns. The regulations indicate the possibility for telesupervision.  Contact licensure board for clarification. 

Support Personnel

Not clearly defined.

Clinical Fellow

Not clearly defined.

Student Intern

Not clearly defined.

Supervisors of Students

(5) The licensee who is supervising speech-language pathology or audiology students may include simultaneous observations with the student or the submission of written reports or summaries by the student for supervisor monitoring, review and approval. At least fifty percent of each student's time in each diagnostic evaluation, including screening and identification, must be observed directly by a supervisor. The observations may take place on site or by closed-circuit television.

Citation: Wash. Admin. Code  §246-828-075 

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 for audiology and speech-language pathology services.  

Reimbursement of health care services provided through telemedicine or store and forward technology.

(1) For health plans issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2017, a health carrier shall reimburse a provider for a health care service provided to a covered person through telemedicine or store and forward technology if:

(a) The plan provides coverage of the health care service when provided in person by the provider;

(b) The health care service is medically necessary;

(c) The health care service is a service recognized as an essential health benefit under section 1302(b) of the federal patient protection and affordable care act in effect on January 1, 2015; and

(d) The health care service is determined to be safely and effectively provided through telemedicine or store and forward technology according to generally accepted health care practices and standards, and the technology used to provide the health care service meets the standards required by state and federal laws governing the privacy and security of protected health information.

(3) An originating site for a telemedicine health care service subject to subsection (1) of this section includes a:

(a) Hospital;

(b) Rural health clinic;

(c) Federally qualified health center;

(d) Physician's or other health care provider's office;

(e) Community mental health center;

(f) Skilled nursing facility;

(g) Home or any location determined by the individual receiving the service; or

(h) Renal dialysis center, except an independent renal dialysis center.

Citation: Wash. Rev. Code § 48.43.735

Telepractice Medicaid

The law is not clearly defined, indicating that any healthcare provider and service may be covered under a 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.

Reimbursement of health care services provided through telemedicine or store and forward technology.

(1) Upon initiation or renewal of a contract with the Washington state health care authority to administer a medicaid managed care plan, a managed health care system shall reimburse a provider for a health care service provided to a covered person through telemedicine or store and forward technology if:

(a) The medicaid managed care plan in which the covered person is enrolled provides coverage of the health care service when provided in person by the provider;

(b) The health care service is medically necessary;

(c) The health care service is a service recognized as an essential health benefit under section 1302(b) of the federal patient protection and affordable care act in effect on January 1, 2015; and

(d) The health care service is determined to be safely and effectively provided through telemedicine or store and forward technology according to generally accepted health care practices and standards, and the technology used to provide the health care service meets the standards required by state and federal laws governing the privacy and security of protected health information.

(2)(a) If the service is provided through store and forward technology there must be an associated visit between the covered person and the referring health care provider. Nothing in this section prohibits the use of telemedicine for the associated office visit.

(b) For purposes of this section, reimbursement of store and forward technology is available only for those services specified in the negotiated agreement between the managed health care system and health care provider.

(3) An originating site for a telemedicine health care service subject to subsection (1) of this section includes a:

(a) Hospital;

(b) Rural health clinic;

(c) Federally qualified health center;

(d) Physician's or other health care provider's office;

(e) Community mental health center;

(f) Skilled nursing facility;

(g) Home or any location determined by the individual receiving the service; or

(h) Renal dialysis center, except an independent renal dialysis center.

(7) This section does not require a managed health care system to reimburse:

(a) An originating site for professional fees;

(b) A provider for a health care service that is not a covered benefit under the plan; or

(c) An originating site or health care provider when the site or provider is not a contracted provider under the plan.

Citation: Wash. Rev. Code § 74.09.325

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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