On January 9, 2019 in the Commonwealth of Virginia House of Delegates Kilgore, Guzman and J.L. Campbell entered house bill 1970 and the Senators Chaffin, Carrico, DeSteph and Sturtevant entered Senate bill 1221.
Both bills state:
“An insurer, corporation, or health maintenance organization shall not exclude a service for coverage solely because the service is provided through telemedicine services and is not provided through face-to-face consultation or contact between a health care provider and a patient for services appropriately provided through telemedicine services.”
Eric Wicklund, site editor for mHealthintelligence.com wrote, if passed as written, both bills would permit healthcare providers from around the country who “are in good standing with their medical boards and permitted to use connected care technologies” to see and treat Virginia residents via telehealth/telemedicine modalities.
The legislation also would require Virginia payers, including the commonwealth’s Medicaid program, to reimburse healthcare providers for remote-patient-monitoring (RPM) services “to the full extent that these services are available.”
They define RPM as the “delivery of home health services using telecommunications technology to enhance the delivery of home health care”. They include weight monitoring, data from blood pressure, pulse, pulse oximetry, and blood glucose readings. Other things like medication adherence monitoring fall into their definition of RPM.
It is an exciting time for telemedicine and we will watch how these bills proceed through the Virginia Legislature. With the current changes in the Medicare and Medicaid Reimbursements for Telemedicine coming into play in 2019 we expect to see more of this legislation being introduced around the country.To schedule a demo with eVisit’s telemedicine platform, click here.