This briefing provides a summary of policy and legislative considerations for the COVID-19 era as they relate to the delivery of health services via telehealth, with a special focus on behavioral health care. Oklahoma has been a national leader in ensuring access to telehealth, particularly in the delivery of care via the Medicaid and public mental health systems. The state also currently mandates that telehealth services be covered in private insurance plans. However, barriers still exist that prevent telehealth services from reaching their full potential, particularly in rural areas.
Other states are taking steps to eliminate such barriers by ensuring full reimbursement parity and equal access for telehealth services, particularly in the wake of a global pandemic that has heightened mental health needs and increased the importance of this care delivery model. We briefly summarize policy options for Oklahoma here.