Medicaid Substance Use Disorder Treatment via Telehealth, and Rural Health Care and Medicaid Telehealth Flexibilities Guidance


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Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an Informational Bulletin to states that identifies opportunities for telehealth delivery methods to increase access to Medicaid services and federal reimbursement for services and treatment for substance use disorders under Medicaid using services delivered via telehealth, including in school-based health centers.  This Informational Bulletin is composed of two parts: Rural Health Care and Medicaid Telehealth Flexibilities; and Medicaid Substance Use Disorder Treatment via Telehealth.

CMS is releasing this guidance in accordance with section 1009(b) of the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act. While this guidance applies to states generally, it includes information useful for states in light of the ongoing response to the COVID-19 virus. Maximizing telehealth flexibilities will help prevent vulnerable beneficiaries from unnecessarily entering a healthcare facility when their needs can be met remotely.  In keeping with CMS’s commitment to providing our state partners with the flexibilities they need to serve their unique populations, the guidance will provides state Medicaid agencies, and other interested stakeholders, information about options to facilitate access to services through telehealth during the current public health crisis and beyond. 

This guidance supports earlier CMS actions in response to the COVID-19 virus, which are part of the ongoing White House Task Force efforts. To keep up with the important work the Task Force is doing in response to COVID-19 click here For information specific to CMS, please visit the Current Emergencies Website.  Additionally, CMS has launched a dedicated,, COVID-19 resource page that will be continually updated with relevant information.