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Telehealth Use Jumps In Florida Medicaid System

laptop next to a stethoscope and patient chart
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Florida Medicaid providers, once reticent to use telehealth, turned to the technology to care for patients as COVID-19 swept the state.

Medicaid director Beth Kidder told members of the Medical Care Advisory Committee on Wednesday that the number of providers using telehealth increased from 657 at the end of 2019 to 15,945 as of June amid the pandemic.

Kidder didn’t say what professions were included as “providers.”

Likewise, there has been an increase in Medicaid beneficiaries who use telehealth. The number of beneficiaries using telehealth increased from 23,616 at the end of 2019 to 192,038 as of June, according to Kidder’s data.

“I don’t think we are going to step back from this,” Kidder said of the increased use of telehealth, which involves using technology to provide health care remotely. “I think that providers, now having gotten into the threshold of doing it, see how good it is for them and their patients in the right circumstances. And the same thing for patients.”

The Medical Care Advisory Committee reviews issues in the state Medicaid system. Federal regulations require each state’s Medicaid program to have such an advisory committee.