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New Telehealth Bills Emphasize Insurance Coverage, Remote Patient Monitoring

Posted on Friday, March 1, 2019 9:36 PM

According to the Center for Connected Health Policy, there are currently 90 bills in state legislatures addressing telehealth issues. 

In Virginia, lawmakers have unanimously passed legislation to require commercial health plans to cover remote patient monitoring services, and Governor Ralph Northam is expected to sign the bill into law. The services are defined as “the delivery of home health services using telecommunications technology to enhance the delivery of home health care, including monitoring of clinical patient data such as weight, blood pressure, pulse, pulse oximetry, blood glucose, and other condition-specific data; medication adherence monitoring; and interactive video conferencing with or without digital image upload.”

As coverage for remote patient monitoring starts to become the “norm” across all states, it should offer incentive to providers to invest in new telemedicine technologies that can allow people to remain in their homes and communities, effectively manage chronic conditions and avoid unnecessary and costly hospitalizations.

New Mexico and Arizona are considering legislation that would allow providers to be paid the same as their in-person rates for virtual care.  If these bills pass, it will allow payers to charge a deductible for virtual care as long as it does not exceed the amount charged for such care delivered in person, and payers would be prohibited from limiting their coverage to providers that are part of the health plan’s network.

Source: NAHC Report

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