Colorado took a major step towards making telemedicine broadly accessible this past week. In a unanimous vote, The House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee passed a bill that would expand an existing law that supports telemedicine for patients in rural areas of Colorado (counties with fewer than 150,000 residents).
The bill also specifically addressed reimbursement for telehealth, preventing health insurance plans from requiring in-person care where telemedicine would serve as an appropriate alternative. As stated in this article from The Denver Post, the bill
“…would preclude health plans from requiring in-person care if consulting, monitoring and other care could be administered as effectively at a distance. It would prevent plans from reimbursing providers who deliver telehealth on a different basis than for in-person care. Health plans could not charge different deductibles, co-payments or co-insurance amounts or set different annual or lifetime dollar maximums”
The legislation is now set to progress to the House floor, where, if the unanimous committee vote is any indication, it should have a warm reception.
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