Partner Nathaniel Lacktman was quoted in the Modern Healthcare article, “Some states cement COVID-19 telehealth expansions,” which discussed a new law in Colorado that effectively expands telehealth services by barring insurers from requiring that patients have a pre-established relationship with a virtual care provider or imposing additional location, certification or licensure requirements on providers as a condition for telehealth reimbursement. The new law, which applies to state-regulated health plans and Medicaid, adds remote patient monitoring as a covered service and does away with restrictions on the technology used for telehealth visits. The law was modeled off of Colorado's emergency order expanding telehealth earlier this year.
Lacktman, chair of Foley’s Telemedicine and Digital Health Industry Team, said Colorado's telehealth statute is already further along in terms of coverage and reimbursement than many states, but the new law would "codify certain coverage protections that benefit patients, and it would also further cement the use of telehealth, broadly, as a covered medical benefit for insured patients." The law effectively bars insurers from requiring providers to use a specific telehealth software for the service to be covered, he said. It also keeps them from creating a narrow network by requiring clinicians to have a special accreditation or training or be in a specific location. Notably, he said the law requires insurers to cover telehealth delivered by phone-an option that Medicare granted to providers on a temporary basis in March.