States continue to adopt telehealth commercial payer coverage, survey finds

Limited or unclear reimbursement for telehealth and digital services is considered one of the largest barriers of virtual care adoption among hospitals and health systems, according to a recent Foley & Lardner survey.

For its 50-State Survey of Telehealth Commercial Payer Statutes, the law firm examined telehealth commercial payer statutes across all 50 states and District of Columbia as of October 2019. The report includes only commercial health insurance laws and does not include Medicaid fee-for-service rules or Medicaid managed care organization regulations.

Five report insights:

1. Currently, 42 states and Washington, D.C., have some type of telehealth commercial payer statute in place.

2. While telehealth coverage has expanded in recent years, reimbursement and payment parity has lagged; 16 states currently have laws that address reimbursement of telehealth services.

3. Only 10 states offer true payment parity laws for reimbursement rates for in-person and telehealth services. These states are Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Utah and Virginia.

4. Thirteen states require commercial health plans to cover remote patient monitoring services.

5. Twenty-four states require coverage for store and forward asynchronous telehealth, which allows providers to electronically transfer medical information through a secure platform, such as email.

To access the full report, click here.

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