“Alaska Medicaid will pay for telemedicine services delivered in the following manner:
- Interactive method: Provider and patient interact in ‘real time’ using video/camera and/or dedicated audio conference equipment.
- Store-and-forward method: The provider sends digital images, sounds, or previously recorded video to a consulting provider at a different location. The consulting provider reviews the information and reports back his or her analysis.
- Self-monitoring method: The patient is monitored in his or her home via a telemedicine application, with the provider indirectly involved from another location.”
Source: State of AK Dept. of Health and Social Svcs., Alaska Medical Assistance Provider Billing Manuals for Community Behavioral Health Services, Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment, Hospice Care, Inpatient Psychiatric Services, Independent Laboratory Services, Appendices. (Accessed Aug. 2016).
Telemedicine is identical to a "traditional" health-care visit except it uses a different "mode of delivery;” with telemedicine, the healthcare provider and the patient are not in the same physical location. Instead, providers use telemedicine applications, such as video, audio, and/or digitized image transmissions, to link the patient and the provider.
There are two primary telemedicine methods, or applications: Interactive and store-and-forward. With the interactive method, video/camera equipment and/or audio equipment is used to hold a "real-time" (live) consultation between a patient and a healthcare provider at a different location. The store-and-forward method, however, requires healthcare providers to send digital images, sounds, or previously recorded video to another provider at a different location. This "consulting" provider then reviews the information and reports his or her findings to the provider who sent the information.