The COVID-19 pandemic significantly increased the need for telehealth service delivery. In fact, in a previous study we found that 40% of people with disabilities used telehealth in 2021. Although telehealth technologies are not new, they had not widely been used with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) prior to the pandemic, especially because people with IDD are less likely to have access to technology.
For these reasons, the aim of this study was to explore telehealth service delivery in Medicaid Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers for people with IDD. To do so, we examined how states permitted telehealth service delivery within their 2021 HCBS 1915(c) programs (permanent use of telehealth). We also examined how states temporarily changed their HCBS programs to allow telehealth during the pandemic (2020-2022) through Appendix K amendments (temporary use of telehealth). Read more