Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds recently signed a new bill into law requiring commercial health insurers in the Hawkeye State to cover health care services provided via telehealth to the same extent those services are covered via in-person care. The law, passed under HF 2305, takes effect January 1, 2019 and applies to all policies delivered, issued, or reissued in Iowa after that date. Iowa telemedicine providers, entrepreneurs, and patients will soon enjoy telehealth insurance coverage, joining the national majority of states with similar laws.
An ambitious California proposal to regulate health care rates and curb long-term health care spending was unveiled last week in Assembly Bill 3087 (Proposed Legislation). The key concept in the Proposed Legislation is the establishment of an independent commission with the authority to set the rates paid for health care services in most commercial contexts. The Proposed Legislation —following on the heels of single-payor legislation debated last summer—proves that interest in sweeping health care reform remains high among California lawmakers. While it is too early to tell whether AB 3087 or something similar will gain traction, here are five key aspects of the bill in its current form:
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) just published a new report on OIG’s review of Medicare payments for telehealth services. The objective of the OIG review was to determine whether or not CMS paid practitioners for telehealth services that met Medicare requirements. The report concluded that, of the sampled claims reviewed by OIG, 31% did not meet the Medicare conditions for payment for telehealth services. Extrapolating the data, OIG estimated that Medicare could have saved approximately $3.7 million during its audit period if practitioners had provided telehealth services in accordance with Medicare requirements.
On April 2, 2018, CMS released the Contract Year 2019 Final Rules for Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D (the MA Final Rule), incorporating changes that support CMS’ stated commitment to supporting flexibility and efficiency throughout the MA and Part D Programs.
On March 30, 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a bill intended to provide individuals with more privacy protection from their health insurance companies.