74.09.315  <<  74.09.325 >>   74.09.330

Reimbursement of a health care service provided through telemedicine or store and forward technologyReport to the legislature.

(1) Upon initiation or renewal of a contract with the Washington state health care authority to administer a medicaid managed care plan, a managed health care system shall reimburse a provider for a health care service provided to a covered person through telemedicine or store and forward technology if:
(a) The medicaid managed care plan in which the covered person is enrolled provides coverage of the health care service when provided in person by the provider;
(b) The health care service is medically necessary;
(c) The health care service is a service recognized as an essential health benefit under section 1302(b) of the federal patient protection and affordable care act in effect on January 1, 2015; and
(d) The health care service is determined to be safely and effectively provided through telemedicine or store and forward technology according to generally accepted health care practices and standards, and the technology used to provide the health care service meets the standards required by state and federal laws governing the privacy and security of protected health information.
(2)(a) If the service is provided through store and forward technology there must be an associated visit between the covered person and the referring health care provider. Nothing in this section prohibits the use of telemedicine for the associated office visit.
(b) For purposes of this section, reimbursement of store and forward technology is available only for those services specified in the negotiated agreement between the managed health care system and health care provider.
(3) An originating site for a telemedicine health care service subject to subsection (1) of this section includes a:
(a) Hospital;
(b) Rural health clinic;
(c) Federally qualified health center;
(d) Physician's or other health care provider's office;
(e) Community mental health center;
(f) Skilled nursing facility;
(g) Home or any location determined by the individual receiving the service; or
(h) Renal dialysis center, except an independent renal dialysis center.
(4) Except for subsection (3)(g) of this section, any originating site under subsection (3) of this section may charge a facility fee for infrastructure and preparation of the patient. Reimbursement must be subject to a negotiated agreement between the originating site and the managed health care system. A distant site or any other site not identified in subsection (3) of this section may not charge a facility fee.
(5) A managed health care system may not distinguish between originating sites that are rural and urban in providing the coverage required in subsection (1) of this section.
(6) A managed health care system may subject coverage of a telemedicine or store and forward technology health service under subsection (1) of this section to all terms and conditions of the plan in which the covered person is enrolled including, but not limited to, utilization review, prior authorization, deductible, copayment, or coinsurance requirements that are applicable to coverage of a comparable health care service provided in person.
(7) This section does not require a managed health care system to reimburse:
(a) An originating site for professional fees;
(b) A provider for a health care service that is not a covered benefit under the plan; or
(c) An originating site or health care provider when the site or provider is not a contracted provider under the plan.
(8) For purposes of this section:
(a) "Distant site" means the site at which a physician or other licensed provider, delivering a professional service, is physically located at the time the service is provided through telemedicine;
(b) "Health care service" has the same meaning as in RCW 48.43.005;
(c) "Hospital" means a facility licensed under chapter 70.41, 71.12, or 72.23 RCW;
(d) "Managed health care system" means any health care organization, including health care providers, insurers, health care service contractors, health maintenance organizations, health insuring organizations, or any combination thereof, that provides directly or by contract health care services covered under this chapter and rendered by licensed providers, on a prepaid capitated basis and that meets the requirements of section 1903(m)(1)(A) of Title XIX of the federal social security act or federal demonstration waivers granted under section 1115(a) of Title XI of the federal social security act;
(e) "Originating site" means the physical location of a patient receiving health care services through telemedicine;
(f) "Provider" has the same meaning as in RCW 48.43.005;
(g) "Store and forward technology" means use of an asynchronous transmission of a covered person's medical information from an originating site to the health care provider at a distant site which results in medical diagnosis and management of the covered person, and does not include the use of audio-only telephone, facsimile, or email; and
(h) "Telemedicine" means the delivery of health care services through the use of interactive audio and video technology, permitting real-time communication between the patient at the originating site and the provider, for the purpose of diagnosis, consultation, or treatment. For purposes of this section only, "telemedicine" does not include the use of audio-only telephone, facsimile, or email.
(9) To measure the impact on access to care for underserved communities and costs to the state and the medicaid managed health care system for reimbursement of telemedicine services, the Washington state health care authority, using existing data and resources, shall provide a report to the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the legislature no later than December 31, 2018.

NOTES:

Effective date2017 c 219: See note following RCW 48.43.735.
Effective dateIntent2016 c 68: See notes following RCW 48.43.735.
Effective dateAdoption of sections2015 c 23 §§ 2-4: See notes following RCW 41.05.700.
Intent2015 c 23: See note following RCW 41.05.700.
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