NC Medicaid surpasses 1 million telehealth visits since beginning of COVID-19 pandemic

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced a milestone in the use of telehealth and telephonic visits by NC Medicaid enrollees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since establishing telehealth flexibility policies in early March, NC Medicaid has processed claims for approximately more than 1.1 million telehealth and 350,000 telephonic visits.

Telehealth, the use of two-way, real-time interactive audio, and video to provide care when participants are in different physical locations have offered many benefits to NC Medicaid enrollees and providers throughout the pandemic.

NC Medicaid enacted close to 400 flexibilities since March to reduce unnecessary potential COVID-19 exposures. 

“Improved telehealth supports our vision of a sustainable, person-centered and innovative NC Medicaid,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “We’ve seen during the pandemic how telehealth is allowing many North Carolinians to get the care they need, and we are building a foundation that will last long after the pandemic ends.”

The increasing adoption and familiarity of telehealth has resulted in Medicaid creating permanent policy changes to make telehealth an enduring component of person-centered health care delivery in North Carolina.

Telehealth policy changes are open for public comment through October 8, 2020. Comments can be submitted to medicaid.public.comment@dhhs.nc.gov.

Current levels of telehealth use by NC Medicaid enrollees have been declining slowly since their peak in April though remain at much higher levels than before the pandemic.

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