Wisconsin Making Telehealth More Accessible


Even more good news from the states for telehealth
advocates: Wisconsin is looking to update its Medicaid coverage for telehealth,
as well as make changes to its policies regarding payment and coverage parity. As
first reported, in-the-works legislation is garnering
support from lawmakers in both political parties, and should be filed by the end
of the month—and “once done, Wisconsin will join a growing number of states
seeking to expand telehealth coverage for underserved populations.” The
proposed bill comes at a good time; as State Rep. Amy Loudenbeck noted in
a press release
, telehealth technology is expanding quickly and making lives
easier, but Wisconsin’s laws are just not keeping up with the technology. “Wisconsin
health care providers are eager to offer more telehealth services but under
Medicaid’s current policies that’s not allowed,” she said.

Another co-sponsor of the bill, State Sen. Dale Kooyenga, notes
that telehealth services can be expanded without adding costs to the system,
because telehealth is simply another way to access already existing services
instead of developing completely new services. The bill is intended to target
four main areas; as mHealth Intelligence sums up, “it would establish both coverage and
payment parity for Medicaid, requiring the state to cover health services as
they would for in-person care and reimburse providers at the same rate.” The
bill also adds telehealth services to Medicaid, expands originating site
definitions to include the patient’s home, and reduces some of the barriers to access.

In addition to the bill proposal, Wisconsin has already set
aside a portion of the 2020-21 budget for funding telehealth programs. Simply
put, it seems the state is serious about making telehealth more accessible for
patients; the sponsors of the bill know it will not be an easy journey to get payers
on board, but understand that the laws need to keep up with the technology.  

Click here to read the mHealth Intelligence article on Wisconsin’s planned telehealth legislation.


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Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !