In the recently published fall update of the fifth annual edition of its telehealth report, the Center for Connected Health Policy, the federally designated National Telehealth Policy Resource Center, provides a current summary guide to telehealth-related laws, regulations, and policies for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and tracks a number of telehealth trends. The report offers a revealing glimpse into the scope and complexity of state laws and policies governing telehealth. The authors conclude, however, that despite the fact that state laws and Medicaid policies “differ significantly” certain trends are coming into relief. Here are some highlights of the report:
- 48 states and the District of Columbia provide reimbursement for live video consults in their Medicaid fee-for service programs.
- States alternate between the terms “telemedicine” and “telehealth,” and in some states, both terms are explicitly defined in statute or regulation.
- 15 state Medicaid programs reimburse for store-and-forward services.
- 21 Medicaid programs reimburse for remote patient monitoring.
- 36 states and the District of Columbia have laws governing coverage by private payers of telehealth services.
- In the 2017 legislative session, 44 states introduced over 200 telehealth-related pieces of legislation addressing issues such as reimbursement and the standard of care.
- 30 jurisdictions have telehealth informed consent requirements (depending on the state, may apply to Medicaid only, certain specialties, or to all telehealth transactions in the state).
- 22 states are now part of the Federation of State Medical Boards’ Interstate Medical Licensure Compact facilitating multi-state licensure for physicians in those states.
- 32 states reimburse a transmission fee, facility fee, or both.
- 9 state medical/osteopathic medical boards issue special licenses/certificates related to telehealth.
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