August Regulatory Update – This Month in Telehealth

What’s Happening at the State Level?


Alaska Enacts New Telemedicine Law: What Providers Should Know (National Law Review)

Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed SB 74 into law on June 21, 2016, expanding the use of telemedicine in the Last Frontier state.

Read more here

Read SB 74 here


Telemedicine Causes Controversy (NWA)

The ongoing controversy over the use of telemedicine in Arkansas continues, as proposed changes to medical regulations are held up. Some big business interests have been pushing to expand telemedicine in the state, seeing it as a cheaper and more effective option to provide healthcare to employees. But, there has been pushback from doctors who worry it could hurt their bottom lines and weaken patient care

Read more here


Florida Health Regulators Announce Telemedicine Board Appointments (Wjct)

Florida’s health regulators announced the appointment of 13 health care professionals to a board tasked with assessing the viability of telemedicine.

Read more here


New Law Allows Doctors to Examine Patients via Video Conference (LakeShore Public Media)

Indiana ranks 39th for patient-physician access but a new law could help connect more people and doctors.

Read more here


Louisiana’s New Telemedicine Law Opens Doors, Removes Barriers (National Law Review)

Louisiana’s governor signed into law, HB 570, (the “Act”), eliminating a prior requirement that physicians practicing telemedicine maintain an office in Louisiana or contract with in-state providers.

Read more here

Read HB 570 here


Telerehab Now Covered Under Minnesota Medicaid (Meritalk)

The Minnesota Department of Human Services has expanded Medicaid coverage to include telerehab.

Read more here


Pa. Lawmaker Moves to Expand Telemedicine Across State Lines (HeraldMail)

When Pa. Rep. Jesse Topper saw a demonstration of how doctors use telemedicine, he started to think about potential benefits for residents of the rural Pennsylvania district he serves.  Topper, R-Franklin/Fulton/Bedford, considered that people in the 78th District could have an initial consultation with a physician through videoconferencing, rather than potentially driving two hours to an office.

Read more here

Read HB 1619 here

Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s New Law Requires Health Plans Cover Telemedicine Services (Lexology)

Rhode Island marks the 31st state to enact a telemedicine commercial reimbursement statute. The Telemedicine Coverage Act (HB 7160B) was signed into law by Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo on June 28, 2016, representing a forward step for telehealth providers in a state that historically has held one of the lowest-rankings in the nation for telehealth coverage policy. The new law requires commercial health insurers in the Ocean State to cover treatment provided via telemedicine to the same extent the services are covered via in-person care.

Read more here

Read HB 7160B here

NOTE: Law takes effect January 1, 2018


Virginia Receives USDA Grants for Telemedicine (August Free Press)

Virginia will receive more than $587,000 in Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants through the USDA to improve rural health care services, with a focus on mental health and drug addiction treatment.

Read more here

Regulatory Update Matrix

State Status Concerning Issue
Arizona Draft Rules hearing- July 26th Board of Psychologists Telepractice and Supervision
Arkansas Final Medical Board Practice Standards
Delaware Proposed Medicaid Coverage for mental health services via telemedicine for children
District of Columbia Proposed Department of Health Telemedicine practice standards for physicians
District of Columbia Emergency Regs Medicaid Telemedicine coverage
Florida Proposed Rule Medical Board Survey for licensure renewal for telehealth providers
Maine Proposed rule– July 15th Joint Medical Boards Clinical Practice
Nebraska Proposed Medicaid State plan amendment removing mileage requirements and permitting RPM and asynchronous coverage
New York Draft Proposal Medicaid
New York Proposed- Rule Status Unknown Office of Mental Health Telepsychiatry
Ohio July 25th Medical Board Prescribing
Washington Proposed rule Medicaid Telemedicine coverage for school based services
Wisconsin Meeting- July 20th Medical Board Telemedicine Committee

***Information Gathered from ATA Monthly Update Webinar

All Things Parity

State Bill Number Status Issue
Hawaii SB 2395 Enacted -Removes telepresenter requirements- Required insurers to provide written disclosures about telehealth coverage- Expands coverage to include store-and- forward, RPM, and mHealth
New Jersey S 1936 Referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee Coverage Parity for Telestroke
New York SB 7953 and AB 10500 Reimbursement parity
Rhode Island H 7160 and S 2577 Enacted Private insurance parity and partial coverage parity for private insurance based on geography

***Information Gathered from ATA Monthly Update Webinar

Interstate Licensure Compact Updates…..

Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) 17 states Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Colorado
Mutual Recognition
National Council for State Boards of Nursing (Enhanced NLC and APRN) Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wyoming
Association for State and Provincial Psychology Boards (PSYPACT) Needs 7 states: Arizona

***Information Gathered from ATA Monthly Update Webinar

In Other News…..

AMA Approves Medical Ethics Guidelines for Telemedicine After Three-Year Delay (Samsung Insights)

Read more here

*** Please note that the official guidelines have not yet been released to the public.  We will keep you updated as soon as they become available.

Mid-Year: 5 Trends Shaping Telemedicine in 2016 (HIT Consultant)

Read more here


Legal Landscape Struggles to Keep Pace with the Rise of Telemedicine  (Lexology)

Telemedicine encompasses a wide variety of services such as teleconsultation, telemonitoring and telesurgery. Telemedicine can also include remote consultation/e-visits or video conferences between health professionals and can be delivered through various forms of IT systems including mobile phone apps.

Read more here

 “GOTCHA” of the Month…..

ATA Release a New State Report Card on Telemental Health

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) released a new critical state policy report which identifies existing policy barriers that impede the use of telemental and behavioral health intended to enable patient and psychologist choice for quality health care services.

States are evaluated on an A, B, C, F scale for the following areas in addition to a total composite score.

  1. Psychologist-patient encounter
  2. Informed consent
  3. Licensure & out-of-state practice

The following 8 states Eight states averaged a composite grade “A”.

  1. Mississippi
  2. Missouri
  3. Nebraska
  4. Nevada
  5. Oklahoma
  6. Texas
  7. West Virginia
  8. Wisconsin

“F” Scores: Colorado is the only state that received a composite score “F”.  Colorado’s low grade suggests many barriers for telemental health advancement within the state.

You can read the complete report here

For more information on ATA click here

Source: (Prweb)


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