ATA Pushing Insurance Commissioners Group To Support Telehealth

July 8, 2014 in News

Last week, the American Telemedicine Association sent a letter to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners recommending changes to the NAIC’s network adequacy model to improve and better support telehealth efforts, Clinical Innovation Technology reports (Walsh, Clinical Innovation Technology, 7/3).

Letter Details

In the letter, ATA said recognition of telehealth in NAIC’s Managed Care Plan Network Adequacy Model Act is “essential for health plans to innovate” health care delivery (Bowman, FierceHealthIT, 7/2).

ATA proposed several recommendations for the NAIC to include in its standards, such as:

  • Adding a definition of telehealth;
  • Broadening the access plan to include a reference to telehealth-provided services; and
  • Incorporating language that reflects care delivery innovations (Clinical Innovation Technology, 7/3).

Specifically, ATA recommended replacing the word:

  • “Appointments” with “visits” to better reflect the delivery of services and the “24/7, on-demand and online world for health services;” and
  • “Proximity” with “access” to address providers who are not in the immediate vicinity.

In addition, ATA called on NAIC to create a standard for health carriers regarding the information that should be included in a directory of participating providers.

ATA said that such a directory should:

  • Identify the telehealth providers in the network;
  • Include a description of the telehealth services they offer; and
  • Name the states in which they are licensed.

Further, ATA recommended that the carrier be required to make the telehealth provider directory available online and in print (ATA letter, 7/1).

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