Frequently Asked Questions

ASHA  (American Speech Language Hearing Association) Policy

Q: What is telepractice (aka, teletherapy, speech telepractice)?
A: Telepractice is the application of telecommunications technology to the delivery of speech language pathology and audiology professional services at a distance by linking clinician to client or clinician to clinician for assessment, intervention, and/or consultation. (ASHA Telepractice Practice Portfolio)


Q: How does ASHA view telepractice?
A: Use of telepractice must be equivalent to the quality of services provided in person and consistent with adherence to the Code of Ethics (ASHA, 2016a), Scope of Practice in Audiology (ASHA, 2004b), Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology (ASHA, 2016b), state and federal laws (e.g., licensure, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act [HIPAA; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d.-c]), and ASHA policy.


Q: What notification of telepractice services must be given to clients or prospective clients?
A: At a minimum, notification of telepractice services should be provided to the client, the guardian, the caregiver and the multi-disciplinary team, if appropriate. The notification could include but not be limited to: the right to refuse telepractice services, options for service delivery, and instructions on filing and resolving complaints.


Reimbursement for telepractice

Q: Will Medicare reimburse for telepractice?
A: Under current Medicare legislation, audiologists and speech-language pathologists are not considered eligible providers of services delivered via telepractice because Medicare restricts the delivery of services via telepractice to specific provider types. This means that audiologists and speech-language pathologists cannot provide their services via telepractice to Medicare beneficiaries.


Q: Will Medicaid reimburse for telepractice?
A: CMS encourages state Medicaid agencies to develop approaches to telepractice and coverage expansion, but each state’s Medicaid agency can make their own guidelines for telepractice reimbursement. Although some states have passed laws requiring the Medicaid agency to reimburse for services delivered via telepractice, audiologists and speech-language pathologists should contact the Medicaid agency for guidance on the following:


Q: Which services may or may not be covered when delivered via telepractice?


Q: What provider types are eligible to deliver services via telepractice?


Q: Which Current Procedural Terminology (CPT ®) codes are eligible for telepractice?


Q: Which modifiers should be used to indicate that services were delivered via telepractice?


Q: Will private insurers reimburse for telepractice?
A: Each private insurance plan can decide whether they will reimburse for telepractice services.


Q: How will clients of Speech Language Online pay for services?
A: Clients will pay Speech Language Online prior to service delivery. Speech Language Online will provide paid invoices with appropriate CPT codes and modifiers for services provided by our ASHA certified speech language pathologists.