More and more states introducing bills to break barriers to telehealth

Seek reimbursement, expansion for teleservices

HB 491 introduced by Representatives Mark Cohen (D-202), Thomas Caltagirone (D-127), Tim Hennessey (R-26), Dom Costa (D-21), Vanessa Lowery Brown (D-190), Anthony DeLuca (D-32), William Kortz (D-38), Michael McGeehan (D-173), Mark Mustio (R-44), Eddie Day Pashinski (D-121), Harry Readshaw (D-36), W. Curtis Thomas (D-181), Dan Truitt (R-156), and Rosita Youngblood (D-198) requires private health insurers in the state to cover healthcare services provided through telehealth.  The bill defines telehealth as “the remote interaction between a health care professional and a patient through the use of any of the following:  a video camera transmission; a computer video transmission; an electronic health monitoring device; and another telecommunications device that delivers health information concerning a patient to a health care professional”.
SB 484 introduced by Senator Ophelia Ford (D-29) requires health insurance coverage to include reimbursement of providers for telemedicine services; requires department of correction to study costs related to telemedicine; and requires a review of other states’ Medicaid telemedicine policies and procedures. The bill defines telemedicine as “the use of interactive audio, video, or other telecommunications or electronic technology by a licensed health care provider to deliver a health care service within the scope of practice of the healthcare provider at a site other than the site at which the patient is located”. 
HB 1448 introduced by Representatives Steve Bergquist (D-11), Charles Ross (R-14), Eileen Cody (D-34), Paul Harris (R-17), Tami Green (D-28), Jay Rodne (R-5), Steve Tharinger (D-24), Norm Johnson (R-14), Matt Manweller (R-13), Chad Magendanz (R-5), and Dawn Morrell (D-25) requires health plans in the state to reimburse for telemedicine service on the same basis and at the same rate that the provider would be reimbursed for an in-person encounter; reduces the compliance requirements on hospitals when granting privileges or associations to telemedicine physicians. The bill defines telemedicine as "the delivery of health care services and means the use of interactive audio, video, or electronic media for the purpose of diagnosis, consultation, or treatment."