Milestone – Most States Now Have Telehealth Parity Laws

WASHINGTON - Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - In a sweep, this week three more states, Indiana, Minnesota and Nevada, have enacted telemedicine parity laws, which means over half the country - 27 states and DC - now have laws in place enforcing coverage for telemedicine-provided services.

Indiana’s parity law requires coverage of telemedicine services under private insurance via interactive audio, video or other electronic media.  The new law also prohibits a health care provider from being required to obtain a separate additional written health care consent for the provision of telemedicine services.  The law goes into effect July 1, 2015.

The new Minnesota law requires health plans to cover and reimburse for telemedicine in the same manner and at the same rate as in-person services.  The statute defines telemedicine as “the delivery of health care services or consultations while the patient is at an originating site and the licensed health care provider is at a distant site.”  Communication between a provider and patient that consists solely of e-mail or fax does not constitute telemedicine.  The new law does not place limits on the patient nor provider location and allows coverage for a broad list of health care providers.  There is also a provision in the law that amends an existing statute regarding Medicaid parity coverage of telemedicine.  Medicaid coverage is still limited to three telemedicine services per week for each beneficiary.  In addition to this, a Medicaid enrolled provider must now attest to a list of criteria to demonstrate safety and efficacy of the telemedicine services.  Minnesota’s parity law effects health plans issued before or after January 1, 2017.

Nevada’s parity law requires coverage and reimbursement for telehealth under private insurance, Medicaid and workers compensation to the same extent and in the same amount as though provided in person.  Telehealth is defined as “the delivery of services from a provider of health care to a patient at a different location through the use of technology that transfers information electronically, telephonically or by fiber optics, not including standard telephone, facsimile or electronic mail.”  Nevada is the only state that has extended its telemedicine parity policy to include workers compensation.

We’re almost halfway through the year and parity legislation is still active in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.  Join the ATA State Policy webinar this Thursday, May 28 at 2 p.m. ET to hear the latest on recent state decisions and new proposals.

ATA Members >> click here to access this webinar