432:1‑601.5 Coverage for telehealth. (a) It is the intent of the legislature to recognize the application of telehealth as a reimbursable service by which an individual shall receive medical services from a health care provider without face-to-face contact with the provider.

(b) No mutual benefit society plan that is issued, amended, or renewed shall require face-to-face contact between a health care provider and a patient as a prerequisite for payment for services appropriately provided through telehealth in accordance with generally accepted health care practices and standards prevailing in the applicable professional community at the time the services were provided. The coverage required in this section may be subject to all terms and conditions of the plan agreed upon among the enrollee or subscriber, the mutual benefit society, and the provider.

(c) Reimbursement for services provided through telehealth shall be equivalent to reimbursement for the same services provided via face-to-face contact between a health care provider and a patient. There shall be no reimbursement for a telehealth consultation between health care providers unless a health care provider-patient relationship exists between the patient and one of the health care providers involved in the telehealth interaction and the patient is accompanied by a treating health care provider at the time telehealth services are provided by the consulting health care provider; provided that when behavioral health services are provided, a second health care provider shall not be required to accompany the patient.

For the purposes of this section, "health care provider" means a provider of services, as defined in 42 U.S.C. 1395x(u), a provider of medical or other health services, as defined in 42 U.S.C. 1395x(s), and any other person or organization who furnishes, bills, or is paid for health care in the normal course of business, including but not limited to primary care providers, mental health providers, oral health providers, physicians and osteopathic physicians licensed under chapter 453, advanced practice registered nurses licensed under chapter 457, psychologists licensed under chapter 465, and dentists licensed under chapter 448.

(d) Notwithstanding chapter 453 or rules adopted pursuant thereto, in the event that a health care provider-patient relationship does not exist between the patient and the health care provider to be involved in a telehealth interaction between the patient and health care provider, a telehealth mechanism may be used to establish a health care provider-patient relationship.

(e) For the purposes of this section, "telehealth" means the use of telecommunications services, as defined in section 269‑1, including but not limited to real-time video conferencing-based communication, secure interactive and non‑interactive web-based communication, and secure asynchronous information exchange, to transmit patient medical information, including diagnostic-quality digital images and laboratory results for medical interpretation and diagnosis, for the purpose of delivering enhanced health care services and information to parties separated by distance. Standard telephone contacts, facsimile transmissions, or e-mail text, in combination or by itself, does not constitute a telehealth service for the purposes of this chapter. [L 1998, c 278, 3; am L 2006, c 219, 3; am L 2009, c 20, 4; am L 2014, c 159, 4]

 

Cross References

 

Practice of telehealth, see 453-1.3.

 

 

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