Telemedicine is a way of giving services to Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid Program) members who live a significant distance away from the providers they need to see. Telemedicine involves two providers: an “originating provider” and a “distant provider.” The provider where the member is located is the originating provider and the provider in another location is the distant provider. Providers must have special equipment to provide telemedicine services. Telemedicine does not mean visits by telephone or fax.
Who is eligible for services?
All Health First Colorado members can receive services through the use of telemedicine, whether they live in rural or urban areas. Only the Health First Colorado providers that have special telemedicine equipment can serve members through telemedicine.
How does telemedicine work?
Telemedicine services are provided “live” by audio-video communications between two providers. The distant provider is a consultant to the originating provider. Sometimes the distant provider may be the only provider involved in the visit, such as with mental health sessions. Providers such as doctors, nurse practitioners and mental health providers can provide services if they have the special equipment.
When is telemedicine a good option?
Telemedicine is best used for members who live in rural areas and are far away from a provider. Telemedicine gives the member access to providers including specialists. Telemedicine is not to take the place of seeing a provider in person when one is available.
What Health First Colorado services are reimbursed using telemedicine?
A list of approved services is available to providers. The services include office visits for preventive and routine medical care, psychotherapy and obstetrical ultrasounds.
Does telemedicine add new services?
No. Telemedicine allows providers to provide services that are already covered by Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid Program).
Where can I get more information about telemedicine?
Call or email the Health First Colorado Member Contact Center.