Alaska Medicaid Doesn't Reimburse For Live Telemedicine Now Is The Time!

Alaska Medicaid Doesn't Reimburse For Live Telemedicine Now Is The Time!

March 17, 2020
Petition to
Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum and 2 others
Signatures: 8Next Goal: 10
Support now

Why this petition matters

Started by Carma Shay

Telemedicine is crucial to offer to families stranded due to the current COVID-19 especially in Alaska. Alaskans are regularly stranded at home due to ice, snow and rain/mud slides and can't make it into clinic face to face sessions. Current technology allows for live and interactive therapeutic sessions which continue to be offered one and one and show the same treatment outcomes, often better outcomes than face to face sessions.  Alaskan children are some of the most remote, while Alaska Medicaid does not.  Texas and California are just a few examples of State Medicaid that cover telemedicine for speech therapy.

Does Telemedicine work? 
Yes! Evidence shows "telepractice" also known as online speech therapy, can be as effective if not more effective than face to face therapy.  Telepractice is not for everyone, however a combination of in person at home or clinic and telepractice can be extremely beneficial. 

Pros for clients
Clients benefit from telemedicine because well, its technology!

Telemedicine is synchronous meaning it is interactive and customized for the needs of each child.  

Telemedicine can be recorded and played back throughout the week with parents and child or other caregivers who could not be present during the session.  This increases carryover of skills with all caregivers of each child.

Telemedicine decreases travel time and increases time in therapy! This means it is more efficient and benefits of therapy can be seen quicker and over a shorter duration of time. Usually 6 months for treatments 2-3 times a weeks, as opposed to 12 months or longer for treatments only 1 time a week such as a schedule seen for clients in clinic or home based treatments. 

Medicaid claims they offer reimbursement for telemedicine but they don't.  Medicaid offers reimbursement of "clinic to clinic" and on a case by case basis. Leaving providers unpaid, and parents paying the bill. 

Today is the time to change this unacceptable lack of coverage for Alaska's children. Alaska's children deserve continuity of care.  Telemedicine for Speech Therapy delivery can decrease parent overload and allow children to continue to make the progress in therapy.  Please Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, demand that Alaska Medicaid do what is right.  Require that Alaska Medicaid reimburse providers who provide synchronous one to one telemedicine from speech therapists private practice home offices or clinics, straight to the homes of children who need this much needed services. 

Support now
Signatures: 8Next Goal: 10
Support now

Decision Makers

  • Alaska Governor
  • Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum
  • Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy