New York introduces bill to expand telehealth access, reimbursement: 4 details

New York will introduce comprehensive reforms to its telehealth policy, the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Jan. 10.

The legislation aims to expand the use of telehealth by ensuring fair reimbursement, limiting barriers to access for remote medical services and encouraging technology improvements in healthcare.

Four things to know about the proposed legislation:

  1. Measures to increase access to telehealth services include requiring Medicaid to reimburse telehealth services regardless of where the patient or provider is located, developing an interstate licensing reciprocity for telehealth services in the Northeast and allowing certain unlicensed staff to deliver remote mental health and substance use disorder services during the pandemic.

  2. Reforms to improve telehealth reimbursement include requiring commercial health insurers to offer members a telehealth program, requiring providers to disclose in writing or via their websites if they provide telehealth services and guaranteeing telehealth services are reimbursed at rates that incentivize their use.

  3. To expand the use of technology in healthcare, proposed reforms include requiring insurers to provide members with an electronic triage platform, encouraging insurers to give providers direct reimbursement for remote consultations and simplifying the state's patient consent process by improving interoperability.

  4. The state will also establish an open access telehealth training program for medical professionals and launch a program aimed at helping onboard underserved propulaulations with telehealth tools.

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