Health Policy Round Up 8.26.19

 

August 30th CA Senate Appropriations hearing will be crucial to moving telehealth-related bills forward

 

HHS Office of Inspector General to audit behavioral health in Medicaid managed care

 

Presidential candidates touting rural telehealth and broadband for expanded health care

Legislative & Regulatory Developments

 

California

AB 744 Establishes telehealth payment parity for all payers

  • Placed on suspense file in Senate Appropriations on August 12th
  • Set for Senate Appropriations hearing on August 30th

 

AB 848: Requires Medi-Cal coverage of continuous glucose monitors

  • Placed on suspense file in Senate Appropriations on June 24th
  • Set for Senate Appropriations hearing on August 30th

 

A.B. 1494: Requires that Medi-Cal reimburse safety net providers who furnish services via telehealth during states of emergency without prior face-to-face visits

  • Placed on suspense file in Senate Appropriations on August 12th
  • Set for Senate Appropriations hearing on August 30th

 

AB 1642: Requires Medi-Cal MCPs to include certain additional information in requests for alternative access standards, including the use of telehealth for alternative access

  • Placed on suspense file in Senate Appropriations on August 12th
  • Set for Senate Appropriations hearing on August 30th

 

Other States

Missouri SB 514: Expands physician assistant scope of practice, including physician supervision requirements in remote settings that would allow more PAs to provide care via telehealth.

  • Signed by Governor, effective January 1, 2020

 

New Hampshire SB 258: Expands state Medicaid coverage of telehealth beyond limited CMS benefits to include remote patient monitoring and store and forward.

  • Signed by Governor, effective January 1, 2020

 

Federal

Rural MOMs Act Legislation Introduced by Sens. Shelley Moore Capitol and Tina Smith, would expand existing telehealth grant programs for equipment, such as ultrasound machines and other pregnancy-related equipment, and establish a new demonstration project to support remote technology-enhanced training for rural providers working in maternal and obstetric care.

HS OIG Audit of Medicaid Telehealth Use for Behavioral Health. US Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General announced a forthcoming audit of telehealth behavioral health services use within Medicaid managed care, as well as state monitoring and oversight of such services.

News Articles, Research & Reports

Democratic Presidential Candidates Including Telehealth in Health Care Plans Candidates Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Kristen Gillibrandare are putting forward health care plans that include funding for telehealth and broadband programs in rural areas and the safety net. Both Warren and Klobuchar have proposed significant financing packages to expand broadband access in rural areas. Candidates have been publishing their health care plans in blog posts and on campaign websites and journalists have been covering these developments, expanding public exposure the telehealth and its benefits. Read more here and here.

Public Schools Are Using Telehealth to Treat Students’ Physical and Mental Health Needs The Dayton Daily News reports that a mobile health unit is helping provide access to asthma wellness checks and treatments in an area in which large numbers of students have asthma. And in the wake of the recent Dayton shooting, Ohio Gov. De Wine has included school tele-mental health as part of his 17 Point Plan to address gun violence. The governor’s announcement included the following statement, “The Ohio Department of Medicaid is investing $15 million in telehealth mental health services to students, so no matter where a child lives, they have access to high-quality mental health care.” Read more here and here.