There’s a new report on telehealth insurance laws. Here’s the quick take from the report…
Foley & Lardner’s 2021 50-State Survey of Telehealth Commercial Insurance Laws provides a detailed landscape of the state telehealth commercial insurance coverage and payment laws. The report is useful to health care providers (both traditional and emerging), lawmakers, entrepreneurs, telemedicine companies, and other industry stakeholders as a guide of telehealth insurance laws and regulations across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
In the time since our 2019 report, the legal landscape for telehealth reimbursement has significantly improved. Currently, 43 states and DC maintain some sort of telehealth commercial payer statute, with West Virginia joining the list in 2020. Yet, the quality and efficacy of these laws varies significantly from state to state. For example, three states have telehealth coverage laws on the books that do not actually mandate health plans to cover services delivered via telehealth (Florida, Illinois, and Michigan).
The new report tracks changes post-pandemic start…
Enter the COVID-19 pandemic, which compelled state and federal policymakers to remove restrictions and expand reimbursement for telehealth and virtual care at a rate previously unseen. The new changes followed the previously established pathway of coverage, but the pace at which they were made was stunning. Medicare introduced nearly 100 telehealth service codes covered on a temporary basis until the federal public health emergency declaration expires, including payment for telephone-only consults. States and commercial health plans followed suit. Although some of the reimbursement expansions are temporary and slated to end when the public health emergency expires, many have already become permanently codified into state law.
They look at what’s happening in each state include Minnesota:
- Does the State Have a Statute? Yes
- Coverage Provision? Yes
- Reimbursement Provision? Yes
- Unrestricted Originating Site? Yes
- Member Cost-Shifting Protections? No
- Provision for Narrow/ Exclusive/ In-Network Provider Limits? No
- Remote Patient Monitoring? Store and Forward? Yes
- Authorities Minn. Stat. § 62A.671-.672 (the report include the statute in full)
They also report that Minnesota is one of few states with reimbursement/payment parity. Here’s their quick take on payment parity…
What are Telehealth Commercial Coverage and Payment Parity Laws?
Currently, 43 states and DC have some sort of telehealth commercial insurance coverage law, with bills currently under development in several other states. These laws are sometimes referred to as “telehealth commercial payer statutes” or “telehealth parity laws.” They are designed to promote patient access to care via telehealth in a multitude of scenarios, whether the patient is in a rural area without specialist care, or a busy metropolitan city without time to devote three hours to travel to an in-person checkup in a crowded waiting room. There are significant variances across the states, but two related but distinct concepts have emerged: telehealth coverage and telehealth payment parity