New Hampshire Opening the Door Wider for Telehealth

http://ctel.org/2019/08/new-hampshire-opening-the-door-wider-for-telehealth/

More great news from the states for telehealth advocates: New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu just signed a bill into law that changes what the state’s Medicaid program covers in regards to telehealth services. More specifically, the new law expands coverage to telehealth services delivered by primary care providers and pediatricians; previously, state law had constrained telehealth service coverage to those provided by specialists. As mHealth Intelligence sums up, the Granite State joins a steadily growing group of states that have chosen to strengthen telehealth coverage this past year: “New Hampshire is the latest state to expand coverage for telehealth under Medicaid, giving providers new options for treating residents who can’t easily access care.”

S.B. 258, with an effective date of January 2020,
accomplishes some noteworthy things for New Hampshire. First, the legislation
begins by providing definitions for remote patient monitoring and
store-and-forward, two methods of delivering telehealth services that are gaining
popularity among providers. Both of these platforms expand access to care
outside of the doctor’s office or hospital. Secondly, the bill revises the
meaning of “originating site” to include the patient’s home or workplace and
other nonmedical locations. S.B. 258 also provides guidance on coverage policies.
For a primary-care, remote-patient monitoring, or substance-abuse treatment encounter
conducted via telehealth to be covered under Medicaid, the patient must have
established care at an originating site with a face-to-face, in-person visit
first. That seems to be a common trend among states: to require some kind of
initial face-to-face in-person interaction before transitioning to telehealth
services.

Lawmakers are excited about the opportunities S.B. 258
creates for providers. As mHealth Intelligence notes, “direct-to-consumer
telehealth portal[s], allowing such services as on-demand treatment of
non-urgent issues,” are rising in popularity, especially for platforms unsure
about the viability of video-based portals. And providers in New Hampshire
will be able to take advantage of those direct-to-consumer platforms because of
the new rules. Follow-up appointments will also be primarily conducted through telehealth,
which will save time and expenses for both the provider and patient. “The
technology is getting to the point we’re having real-time ability for patients
to tap into physicians with expertise, and with doctors or nurses to tap into
each other,” said Tom Sherman, a State Senator from Rye and a practicing
gastroenterologist.

Click here to read the text of the new law.

Click here to read the mHealth Intelligence article on New Hampshire’s new telehealth law.

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Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !