Earlier this year, New Jersey joined the ranks of states enacting laws regulating telemedicine services, bringing the total number to 31. NJBIA supported the legislation because it would save money by cutting down on emergency room and in-person doctor’s visits.
The technology for telemedicine has been around for years, but how providers would be paid by insurance plans often needs clarification. New Jersey’s law ensures that health insurance companies that provide telemedicine coverage do so at least at the same rate as services provided in-person.
As the news website Healthcare Dive reported today, the New Jersey law broadly defines what a healthcare provider is, which will allow for greater use of telehealth. But it’s not the only sign that telehealth or telemedicine is growing.
- Medicare payments for telehealth increased 28 percent last year;
- The VA issued a proposed rule that would allow providers to sidestep state regulations so they can treat patients with telemedicine; and
- All state Medicaid agencies also cover some form of telehealth services.
“This new law establishes a framework for the responsible use of telehealth and telemedicine services as an efficient way to treat residents of New Jersey,” explained Mary Beaumont, NJBIA’s vice president of Health and Legal Affairs. “NJBIA places a strong and consistent focus on the quality and affordability of health insurance in New Jersey because the cost of providing health coverage to employees is one of the most significant challenges facing employers today.”