New Telemedicine Bill

The North Carolina House of Representatives is considering a bill that would require health insurance coverage for telemedicine services, House Bill 283.

The bill is intended to help improve the quality of care for persons in rural areas. In an interview with the Winston-Salem Journal, Donny Lambeth, the bill’s primary sponsor, suggested that North Carolina suffers from a “two-tiered system of care.” “Rural North Carolina is struggling to get doctors and other caregivers into those sites and locations. With the sophistication of technology, you can link many rural locations into some of the world’s best health care.”

The bill would prevent insurers from excluding “services provided via telemedicine from coverage under the plan solely because the service is not provided through an in-person consultation or in-person delivery of services.” Moreover, it provides that “[c]overage of services provided via telemedicine shall be at a rate no less than the applicable rate for health care services provided through in-person consultation or in-person delivery of services.”

The bill is available here: http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2017/Bills/House/PDF/H283v1.pdf. For more information, please contact Heather Skelton of Gardner Skelton PLLC.