by Katherine Restrepo
Director of Health Care Policy, John Locke Foundation
For the convenience that telemedicine offers without compromising the quality of care, some medical providers are still resistant to adopting the practice because certain services don’t always come with insurance reimbursement. Such pushback is one of the reasons why 32 state legislatures have passed parity laws or statutes that force private insurance carriers to cover treatment via telemedicine that otherwise is reimbursed during an in-office visit.
North Carolina’s legislature has not enacted a telemedicine parity law, but it did pass a law that directs the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to assess the telemedicine landscape in other states and recommend policies for lawmakers to consider. One of those policies listed is “private payer telemedicine reimbursement standards.”
It’s admirable that the General Assembly wants to advance legislation that has the potential to encourage more medical professionals to adopt telemedicine so patients can access health care without having to travel long distances. However, it’s a false notion to think that a state is behind the times with telemedicine if it does not enforce parity laws. North Carolina, one of the remaining non-parity states, is in fact engaged in many telemedicine initiatives that span multiple levels of care.
Get the full scoop from my latest health care update here.