The Mississippi Division of Medicaid (DOM) announced on August 17 that it has extended emergency telehealth coverage to cover more school-based services during the COVID crisis. Telehealth means using computers, tablets or some types of phones to see a doctor who is in another place. This is a helpful overview of telehealth from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The use of telehealth has increased during the COVID pandemic.
Before the DOM expanded coverage, only schools that had a school-based clinic staffed by a physician, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant could use telehealth to help students see other types of medical providers. Now schools can provide telehealth access through a registered nurse employed by the school, or staff employed by a Rural Health Clinic, a Federally Qualified Health Clinic, or a private provider.
This new access may make it easier for children to see medical providers, including those offering mental health support, that they would not normally be able to see. It also means that families are less likely to miss work for appointments and that there could be less exposure to the virus.
If you think your child would benefit from increased telehealth access to medical care at school, we encourage you to talk to your child’s school or contact the Division of Medicaid for more details. We also encourage you to be open with anyone working with your family about how telehealth could best help your child. Remember – you know your child better than anyone.