State Policy Update

The first few weeks of 2019 bring hope and progress for state telehealth reimbursement! The Center for Connected Health Policy tracks policy changes year-round for everything telehealth. Below is an update on states who proposed new regulations and legislation to expand access to healthcare through telehealth.

New York: proposed amendments to expand their telepsychiatry regulations to a broader category of “telemental health” and to apply to psychologists, social workers and mental health counselors as well as the previously-included psychiatrists and nurse practitioners. The proposal also clarifies originating site definitions, allowing services to be provided outside of the state on a temporary basis.

Another proposal would require auto insurance and worker’s compensation plans to cover related medical expenses delivered over telehealth.

Maryland: proposal to restructure and clarify existing telepsychology regulations into a more readable and inclusive set of definitions and guidelines.

Arizona: proposal to overhaul the existing private payer telemedicine law by eliminating existing speciality restrictions, disallow insurance providers from instating originating site, speciality, or medical condition restrictions, and expanding coverage to store-and-forward and remote patient monitoring technologies.

Arkansas: proposal allows provider-patient relationship to be established and maintained via telemedicine.

Washington: proposal amends the store-and-forward portion of existing private payer law to no longer require an associated office visit between the patient and referring provider.

Oregon: proposal establishes a legislative definition of telemedicine and coverage parity for private payers; establishes coverage parity at a minimum percent of the rate previously paid to the same services when delivered in-person.

Oklahoma: proposals adopt the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact and the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact

Things are looking up for telehealth reimbursement in 2019! At a time when the technology behind telehealth continues advancing by leaps and bounds while telehealth adoption is still stymied by reimbursement hurdles, these proposals come as welcome news.

We here at SimpleVisit can only watch and wait with you, hoping that these proposals and more are adopted and the age of virtual care can continue to be applied to our current healthcare delivery model. We want to help you help people, and to that end we are committed to providing you with up-to-date coverage of changes in the telehealth policy landscape. For more information on these legislative updates and more, subscribe to our newsletter.

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