CCHP report analyzes state telehealth laws, reimbursement policies

The Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) has released, "State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Policies," its fifth annual report analyzing all 50 states and the District of Columbia’s Medicaid provider manuals, state laws and telehealth regulations.

CCHP collects policy data based on research to push telehealth virtual technology and healthcare together. Serving as a resource to the community on how their state governs and regulates healthcare and technology. The report includes policy measures for 11 categories covering reimbursement for live video, remote patient monitoring and email/phone/ fax as well as consent issues, online prescribing and private payer laws.

“This report primarily addresses the individual state’s policies that govern telehealth use when seeking Medicaid coverage for service,” stated the report. “However, we have also included a specific category that describes whether a state has established any specific polices that require private insurers to pay for telehealth services.”

The report includes the following findings:

  • The number of states providing reimbursement for live video in Medicaid fee-for-services remains the same at 48 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Nevada has joined 12 other states in providing reimbursement for store-and-forward.
  • Arizona, Nebraska and Virginia have joined 19 other states in Medicaid programs providing reimbursement for remote patient monitoring.
  • Six states still currently hold policies in restricting reimbursement for telehealth services to rural areas. 

“In the 2017 legislative session, 44 states have introduced over 200 telehealth-related pieces of legislation,” concluded the authors. “Many bills address different aspects of reimbursement in regards to both private payers and Medicaid, with some bills making changes to existing reimbursement laws. Many states have also proposed legislation that would direct licensure boards to establish standard for the practice of telehealth within their given profession. A few states have also begun introducing legislation or proposing regulation that would allow for telehealth to be counted toward network adequacy requirements for both Medicaid managed care plan and the private sector.”