Last month a workgroup facilitated by the Telehealth Alliance of Oregon (TAO) reached an agreement on the language to be included in a bill that will expand private payer reimbursement for telemedicine to include payment for services delivered directly to a patient anywhere that patient is including homes, schools and workplaces. The legislative concept currently known as LC 918 began to make its way through the legislative process with a hearing December 8 to request status as a committee bill. That status was granted and the first official hearing for the bill will be scheduled sometime in February.
The arduous process of crafting LC 918 began in March 2014 after a similar bill brought to the Legislature by ZoomCare failed to get support from many insurers and some providers. The chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee requested that TAO convene a group consisting of providers, private payers, state agencies and associations to draft language that would be acceptable to all to present to the committee for consideration during the 2015 Legislative Session.
Most of the work group members were satisfied with the outcome of LC 918. “No one got everything they wanted,” said Cathy Britain, TAO Director and chair of the work group, “and that is evidence of the compromises members were willing to make in order to create this bill.” Many acknowledged the tremendous opportunity the bill would create for expanding access and driving down the cost of care.
For more information you can contact Cathy Britain at 541-910-7366 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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