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February Regulatory Update – This Month in Telehealth

What’s Happening at the State Level?

Nebraska

Proposals Could Help Expand Telehealth Services in Nebraska (Norfolk Daily News)

A lack of health care in rural Nebraska is prompting a new push by lawmakers to expand telehealth services.  Two bills introduced last week would encourage more providers to adopt the technology, which allows doctors and patients to connect remotely through the internet or by phone.

Read more here

New Jersey

Most New Jerseyans New to ‘Telehealth,’ But Many Willing to Use Technology for Health Care Services (Rutgers Today)

The New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute (NJHCQI), in partnership with the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling (ECPIP) at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, released a poll exploring how New Jersey residents feel about “telehealth,”

Read more here

Read the report here

Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s New Telemedicine Rules Approved By The Medical Examining Board (National Law Review)

Last month, the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board (MEB) approved new rules for the practice of telemedicine.

Read more here

Regulatory Update Matrix

State Status Concerning Issue
Alaska Comments were due Oct 24th Dept. of Commerce, Community and Economic Development Telemedicine Business Registry
Arkansas Comments were due December 30th Medicaid Coverage for telemedicine consults
Arkansas Final Medical Board Telemedicine Clinical Practice
Delaware Proposed- hearing Jan 3rd Board of Medicine Prescribing of opioids and the use of audio- only technology
District of Columbia Proposed Department of Health Telemedicine practice standards for physicians
Louisiana Proposed– Comments were due Nov 21st Medical Board
Maine Final Osteopathic Board Telemedicine Clinical Practice
New York Draft Proposal Medicaid
Ohio Hearing Dec 8th Medical Board Prescribing
Texas Proposed Rule Comments due Feb 9th Medicaid Telemedicine Coverage

***Information Gathered from ATA Monthly Update Webinar

Interstate Licensure Compact Updates…..

National Reciprocity
No Bills Pending
Expedited
Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB): 18 states have joined Pending: Arkansas, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Washington
Mutual Recognition
National Council for State Boards of Nursing (Enhanced NLC and APRN) Enhanced NCL Pending: Colorado, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah

APRN Pending: North Dakota

Association for State and Provincial Psychology Boards (PSYPACT) Needs 7 states: Pending Missouri and Utah

***Information Gathered from ATA Monthly Update Webinar

Monthly Pending Legislative Update

New and changes to parity laws
State Bill Number Issue
NJ NJ [R] A 2668 Requires coverage for telemedicine
ND ND [R] SB 2052 Individual and group insurance coverage for telemedicine
AZ AZ [R] HB 2030 Insurance coverage
CO CO [R] HB 1094 Telehealth Coverage Under Health Benefit Plans
OK OK [R] HB 1580 Insurance parity
VT VT [R] H 118 Insurance coverage for telemedicine
WA WA [R] SB 5457 Parity for telemedicine services
 
Changes to Medicaid
State Bill Number Issue
HI HI [R] HB 1272 Medicaid; Telehealth; Psychiatric Services
IN IN [R] SB 444 Telemedicine
NE NE [R] LB 92 Require health carriers to provide coverage for telehealth services
NJ NJ [R] A 1457 Provides for Medicaid and NJ FamilyCare coverage and reimbursement for health care services provided through telemedicine
 
Changes to clinical practice standards of licensure laws
State Bill Number Issue
AK AR [R] SB 146 To amend telemedicine laws and create a telemedicine practice act
CT CT [R] HB 6707 and CT [R] HB 5811 Controlled Substances and the provision of telehealth services
IN IN [R] HB 1331 Telemedicine and medical devices.
OK OK [R] SB 726 Telemedicine; providing standards for delivery of services.
VA VA [R] HB 1767 Telemedicine, practice of; prescribing controlled substances.
WY WY [R] HB 164 Professional licensing boards-telemedicine/telehealth

 

***Information Gathered from ATA Monthly Update Webinar

In Other News…..

Telemedicine Tops State Medical Boards’ Concerns (Health Leaders Media)

Read more here

WEDI Brief Outlines Challenges to Telehealth Reimbursement (mHealth Intelligence)

Read more here

Telemedicine: The Link To New Value-Based Payment Models (Law 360)

Read more here

Question About Telemedicine Raised in Rep. Tom Price’s Confirmation Hearing: Here’s What He Had to Say (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Read more here

Good Outcomes with ‘Telepsychiatry’ in Medical Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder (Medical Xpress)

Read more here

Will Telemedicine Work for Treating Addiction? (MyPBPost)

Read more here

FYI…..

Three Reasons Telemedicine Will Grow in 2017 (Managed Healthcare Executive)

Read more here

ATA Releases Three New Guidelines for Practice of Telemedicine (Healthcare Informatics)

Read more here

“GOTCHA” of the Month…..

Chapter 2016-240, of Florida Law includes language to create a Telehealth Advisory Council. This Council created consists of 15 members including members such as the Secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) and State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health. The purpose of this council is to make recommendations intended to increase the use and accessibility of services provided via telehealth in the state of FL.   The law required that a report of these recommendations be submitted to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by October 31, 2017.

The law also required the Agency, the Department of Health, and the Office of Insurance Regulation to survey health care facilities, practitioners, and health insurers on the status and scope of telehealth activities in the state. The Agency was required to compile and submit a report of the survey findings to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House by December 31, 2016.

For this this month’s “Gotcha” I would like to highlight this report and its findings.  The report titled “Florida Report on Telehealth Utilization and Accessibility” not only details the telemedicine climate in the state of Florida but also contains useful information about the US telemedicine landscape in general.

You can access the full report here

Highlights of the report include:

  • The types of health care services provided via telehealth in the state
  • The extent to which telehealth is used by health care practitioners and health care facilities nationally and in the state
  • The estimated costs and cost savings to health care entities, health care practitioners, and the state associated with using telehealth to provide health care services
  • Which health care insurers, health maintenance organizations, and managed care organizations cover health care services provided to patients in Florida via telehealth, whether the coverage is restricted or limited, and how such coverage compares to that insurer’s coverage for services provided in person

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