December Regulatory Update – This Month in Telehealth

Federal and Medicare

Senate Unanimously Passes Telemedicine Legislation (mHealth Intelligence)

The ECHO Act aims to make the University of New Mexico’s groundbreaking Project ECHO telemedicine program a national model for healthcare collaboration.

Read more here

Read SB 2873 here

 United States: HHS Releases E-Health And Telemedicine Report To Congress (Mondaq)

The Report offers background on telehealth modalities, discusses current telehealth policy challenges, and highlights federal telehealth activity. As background, the Report cites the importance of telehealth services (defined broadly to include live video interactions, store-and-forward technologies, remote patient monitoring, and mobile health apps) as a means to increase access to care, improve health outcomes, and reduce health care costs.

Read more here

Read the Report here


What’s Happening at the State Level?


University of Illinois Board Reviews Telemedicine Credentialing Process (East Central Reporter)

Read Meeting Minutes here


Mississippi Steps Back from New Telehealth Rules (mHealth Intelligence)

For now, the state’s vague definition for telemedicine will remain unchanged, enabling providers to use video or audio platforms to connect with first-time patients.

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
Arizona Final Board of Psychologists Telepractice and Supervision
Delaware Proposed Board of Clinical Social Workers Standards for the practice of clinical social work through telehealth
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
Massachusetts Bulletin Department of Mental Health Criteria for telemedicine use during telemedicine use during examination and 24/7 physician coverage
Nebraska Final Medicaid State plan amendment removing mileage requirements and permitting RPM and asynchronous coverage
New York Draft Proposal Medicaid
Ohio Hearing Dec 8th Medical Board Prescribing
Wisconsin Hearing Nov 16th Board of Medicine Discussing creating Telemedicine Rules

***Information Gathered from ATA Monthly Update Webinar


All Things Parity

State Bill Number Status Issue
Massachusetts HB 4442 (formerly HB 267) Enacted Would allow access to telemedicine services by allowing certain clinicians to be credentialed and allowing for coverage of such services by all payers and the Medicaid program.
New Jersey S 291 Proposed Coverage and reimbursement parity.
Pennsylvania SB 1342/ HB 2267 Referred to Banking and Insurance Telemedicine

***Information Gathered from ATA Monthly Update Webinar


Interstate Licensure Compact Updates…..

National Reciprocity
Department of Defense
TRICARE (S 2934 & 705(d) and HR 2725)
Department of veterans affairs (S2170 and HR 2516)
Medicare (S 1778 and HR 3081)
Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) 18 states Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Pennsylvania, 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…..

CMS Releases Final CY 2017 Physician Fee Schedule with Several Telehealth Policy Changes (Center for Connected Health Policy)

Read more here



United States Telemedicine and M-Health Convergence Industry 2016 Market Report; Launched via (SB Wire)

Read more here


Latest Study Highlights Need for Access to #TelePsychiatry Services in Emergency Departments (Polycom)

Read more here


 Telemedicine Offerings Double Within Past Year (Employee Benefit Advisor)

Read more here


The Effects of Telemedicine on the Patient-Provider Relationship (Telecom Reseller)

Read more here


“GOTCHA” of the Month…..

What is the ECHO Act?

The ECHO Act stands for the Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes Act and it authorizes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to study the Project ECHO model.

In a unanimous vote, the Senate vote to pass S.2873.  The bill proposes to expand New Mexico’s Project ECHO as a national model for using telehealth for rural care.

Project ECHO, which launched in 2003, is a distance health education model that connects specialists with multiple other healthcare professionals through simultaneous interactive videoconferencing for case-learning and to share best practices and evaluate health outcomes.

The bill would require:

  • The Secretary of HHS to study the model and examine the impact of the model on:
  • Addressing mental and substance use disorders and chronic diseases
  • The impact on provider capacity and workforce issues
  • The delivery of healthcare services in rural areas and medically underserved areas.
  • The HHS Secretary to submit a report to Congress about the use and integration of these models by healthcare providers and the impact on healthcare provider retention as well as on the quality of, and access to, care for patients.
  • The report should also address barriers faced by healthcare providers in adopting these models and ways such models have been funded by HHS.
  • The report provide recommendations for reducing the barriers for using and integrating these models as well as address opportunities to improve adoption and specifically to increase adoption of the  telehealth model into existing HHS programs.

Source: Healthcare Informatics

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