The Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to maximize telehealth’s ability to improve health outcomes, care delivery, and cost effectiveness.

CCHP Newsroom

  • Implementation of Private Payer Parity Laws for Telehealth Services

    The National Law Review

    Private payer parity laws generally require private insurers and health maintenance organizations to cover, and in some cases also reimburse, for the provision of telehealth services in the same manner and at the same level as comparable in-person services. These laws are enacted at the state level, creating a complicated framework within which insurers must operate. At this point, most states have implemented some form of private payer parity law, although the specifics of each state’s laws vary. One of the most common is a rule such as Montana’s, which requires insurers to offer coverage for health care services provided by a health care provider by means of telemedicine if the services are otherwise covered by the plan. Some states, like Iowa, only mandate parity within their Medicaid programs without extending the mandate to private payers. Other states only require parity for certain types of services, like mental health services in Alaska. Lastly, Illinois and Massachusetts, require parity only when insurers opt to provide telehealth services.

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  • House Committee Poised to Consider Medicare Telehealth Bill

    mHealth Intelligence

    A bill seeking Medicare reimbursement for telestroke services could be headed to a Congressional vote this September. The FAST Act of 2017 (H.R. 1148) is included in the roster of Medicare-related bills to be reviewed this week by the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health. If it passes muster, Politico reports, the bill could be included in September legislation to re-authorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and several Medicare extender programs. Re-introduced in February by U.S. Reps. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) and Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act would amend the Social Security Act to expand Medicare coverage of telehealth services for stroke victims. As described in a committee memo, the bill “would expand the ability of patients presenting at hospitals or at mobile stroke units to receive a Medicare reimbursed neurological consult via telemedicine.” Medicare currently reimburses for a consultation only if the originating site hospital is in a rural Health Professional Shortage Area or a county outside a Metropolitan Statistical Area. The bill has the support of, among others, the American Heart Association and American Academy of Neurology. “The FAST Act, as the name implies, will help more stroke victims gain faster access to high-quality care through remote evaluation and treatment - commonly called telestroke,” Beatty said in a February press release. “As a stroke survivor and co-chair of the Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition, I know firsthand how minutes can literally mean the difference between life and death.” 

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  • CMS Proposes Paying for More telehealth Services in New Rule

    Healthcare IT News

    Telehealth just might get a boost, even incrementally, from a proposed rule the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services posted Thursday. In the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule 2018, CMS proposed paying for new care services delivered via telehealth, including psychotherapy for crisis situations, planning for chronic care management programs, health risk assessments, interactive complexity and virtual visits to determine whether a patient is eligible for low dose computed tomography. Usual conditions apply. Virtual visits have to be conducted through an interactive telecommunication system by a doctor or authorized clinician to an eligible patient located in what CMS considers to be a telehealth originating site. In addition to the physician fee schedule, CMS also published the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs on Thursday.

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