New legislation set to impact Virginia DMAS

Several pieces of legislation will directly impact the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS). Sarah Hatton, acting deputy director, administration, of DMAS, outlined the bills in a Board of Medical Assistance Services meeting Wednesday.


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Senate Bill 1307, which passed through both chambers, addresses school-based health services and telemedicine. It directs the DMAS to amend the state plan for medical services to provide payment of medical assistance services delivered to Medicaid-eligible students when the services qualify for reimbursement. This will be the case regardless of whether or not they attend school there. It also includes a provision for payment for telemedicine services. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant and must be signed by into law by Gov. Northam by March 31.

A telemedicine bill, HB 1987, requires the DMAS to amend the state plan to provide payment for medical assistance for remote patient monitoring services provided by telemedicine for certain high risk patients. The bill, sponsored by Del. Dawn Adams, makes clear that nothing shall preclude health insurance carriers from providing coverage for services delivered through real-time audio-only telephone and clarifies rules around prescribing Schedule II through IV drugs via telemedicine. Its sibling bill in the Senate, SB 1338, requires DMAS to include in the state plan payment for medical assistance that is provided by telemedicine for high-risk pregnant women, medically complex infants and children, transplant patients and several other groups. Both bills passed both chambers.

The SB 1102 requires DMAS to establish an annual training and orientation program for all personal care aides who provide Medicaid self-directed services. Sponsored by Sen. Mamie Locke, the bill outlines the topics to be covered such as in-person or online orientations at least quarterly. The legislation passed both chambers.

Legislation sponsored by Del. Alfonso H. Lopez, HB 2124, directs the DMAS to deem testing for, treating and vaccinating against COVID-19 to be a public health emergency as long as it is declared one by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services. The fiscal impact of this bill is expected to be: in 2022 $1,260,648 from the general fund and $1,890,972 from nongeneral funds and in 2023 $1,461,801 from the general fund and $2,192,702 nongeneral funds.

The legislative special session adjourned March 1. It will reconvene April 7 for a veto session.