Texas Medicaid program offers free telehealth services to recipients

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Amerigroup Texas is offering Medicaid recipients telehealth consultations with medical and behavioral healthcare providers at no cost.

This new benefit from the state will enable patients to log into the web site of telehealth vendor LiveHealth Online, and use a smartphone, tablet or computer to have a visit with a licensed physician, therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist.

The telehealth service offers an alternative venue of care for non-emergency cases such as coughs, colds, cuts and bruises, sprains, strains and other non-life threatening issues. The service also offers online behavioral health sessions.

Clinicians will send any necessary prescriptions or refills to the patient’s pharmacy, and after each visit, clinicians will document a summary of the visit that can be forwarded to a patient’s primary care provider to support continuity of care and provider collaboration.

“We are not only redefining what is possible in healthcare, but we are empowering individuals and families to improve health outcomes,” says Patrick Sturdivant, president of Amerigroup Texas, the state’s Medicaid program. “LiveHealth Online provides opportunities to access doctors and specialists that may have been out of reach, and it removes barriers preventing individuals from accessing care.”

To obtain a virtual visit, a patient can log into the livehealthonline.com website or download a mobile app, register and talk to a doctor without an appointment. Spanish-speaking clinicians are available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Visits with behavioral health providers require appointments, but these sessions also can be scheduled seven days a week at a variety of times.

The state benefit empowers those who cannot access transportation or have mobility issues and until now only had the option of going to the emergency department, says Cealee Thomas, MD, medical director at Amerigroup Texas.

“It also is a solution when people have to shelter in place or when they have been displaced in times of crisis,” Thomas adds. “Further, this benefit comes without having to worry about out-of-pocket costs or unexpected medical bills.”

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