CHAPTER 5. GENERAL POWERS AND AUTHORITY OF THE GOVERNOR, SECRETARY OF STATE AND ATTORNEY GENERAL; BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS; MISCELLANEOUS AGENCIES, COMMISSIONS, OFFICES, PROGRAMS, ETC.

§5-16-7b. Coverage for telehealth services.

(a) The following terms are defined:

(1) “Distant site” means the telehealth site where the health care practitioner is seeing the patient at a distance or consulting with a patient’s health care practitioner.

(2) “Established patient” means a patient who has received professional services, face-to-face, from the physician, qualified health care professional, or another physician or qualified health care professional of the exact same specialty and subspecialty who belongs to the same group practice, within the past three years.

(3) “Health care practitioner” means a person licensed under §30-1-1 et seq. of this code who provides health care services.

(4)”Originating site” means the location where the patient is located, whether or not accompanied by a health care practitioner, at the time services are provided by a health care practitioner through telehealth, including, but not limited to, a health care practitioner’s office, hospital, critical access hospital, rural health clinic, federally qualified health center, a patient’s home, and other nonmedical environments such as school-based health centers, university-based health centers, or the work location of a patient.

(5) “Remote patient monitoring services” means the delivery of home health services using telecommunications technology to enhance the delivery of home health care, including monitoring of clinical patient data such as weight, blood pressure, pulse, pulse oximetry, blood glucose, and other condition-specific data; medication adherence monitoring; and interactive video conferencing with or without digital image upload.

(6) “Telehealth services” means the use of synchronous or asynchronous telecommunications technology or audio only telephone calls by a health care practitioner to provide health care services, including, but not limited to, assessment, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, and monitoring of a patient; transfer of medical data; patient and professional health-related education; public health services; and health administration. The term does not include e-mail messages, or facsimile transmissions.

(7) “Virtual telehealth” means a new patient or follow-up patient for acute care that does not require chronic management or scheduled medications.

(b) After July 1, 2020, the plan shall provide coverage of health care services provided through telehealth services if those same services are covered through face-to-face consultation by the policy.

(c) After July 1, 2020, the plan may not exclude a service for coverage solely because the service is provided through telehealth services.

(d) The plan, which issues, renews, amends, or adjusts a plan, policy, contract, or agreement on or after July 1, 2021, shall provide reimbursement for a telehealth service at a rate negotiated between the provider and the insurance company for virtual telehealth encounters. The plan, which issues, renews, amends, or adjusts a plan, policy, contract, or agreement on or after July 1, 2021, shall provide reimbursement for a telehealth service for an established patient, or care rendered on a consulting basis to a patient located in an acute care facility whether inpatient or outpatient on the same basis and at the same rate under a contract, plan, agreement, or policy as if the service is provided through an in-person encounter rather than provided via telehealth.

(e) The plan may not impose any annual or lifetime dollar maximum on coverage for telehealth services other than an annual or lifetime dollar maximum that applies in the aggregate to all items and services covered under the policy, or impose upon any person receiving benefits pursuant to the provisions of or the requirements of this section any copayment, coinsurance, or deductible amounts, or any policy year, calendar year, lifetime, or other durational benefit limitation or maximum for benefits or services, that is not equally imposed upon all terms and services covered under the policy, contract, or plan.

(f) An originating site may charge the plan a site fee.

(g) The coverage required by this section shall include the use of telehealth technologies as it pertains to medically necessary remote patient monitoring services to the full extent that those services are available.