GavelThe Spring of 2013 was a busy time for telehealth legislation in the South Central region of Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee. Mississippi was able to lead the pack and pass meaningful telehealth legislation to “require insurance plans to provide coverage for telemedicine (Mississippi Senate Bill 2209).” Tennessee had two bills, both in its Senate and House, die in committee to be carried over to the next session. Arkansas’ House passed a bill defining “telepractice” and “telepractice services.” Perhaps that will be a pre-cursor to more meaningful legislation in the next session.

Here’s a run-down of the activities. Special thanks go out to the Center for Connected Health Policy, which publishes this information for all 50 states at http://telehealthpolicy.us/state-laws-and-reimbursement-policies .

Approved Legislation

Mississippi

State Bill # Status Summary Amendments
Mississippi SB 2209 4/1/13: Enacted An act to require insurance plans to provide coverage for telemedicine. (Similar to HB 904) Includes Medicaid.

Arkansas

State Bill # Status Summary Amendments
Arkansas HB 1172 3/1/13: This bill has been enrolled and transmitted to Governor’s Office.  HB 1172 is now Act 219 This bill amends various sections of the law relating to the Board of Examiners in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology.  It defines “Telepractice” and “Telepractice Services”.

 

Session Ended/Chance of Carry over to 2014

Tennessee

State Bill # Status Summary Session Status
Tennessee HB 923 3/30/13: Taken off Notice in Senate Committee on Insurance & Banking Requires reimbursement by health insurance policies of telemedicine (similar to TN SB 484) Session ended – Carry over to 2014
Tennessee HB 923 3/30/13: Taken off Notice in Senate Committee on Insurance & Banking Requires reimbursement by health insurance policies of telemedicine (similar to TN SB 484) Session ended – Carry over to 2014
Tennessee SB 484 3/27/13: Assigned to Senate Committee on Commerce & Labor Requires health insurance policies to cover telemedicine services. (similar to TN HB 923) Session ended – Carry over to 2014
Tennessee HB 923 4/20/13: Taken off Notice in Senate Committee on Insurance & Banking Requires reimbursement by health insurance policies of telemedicine (similar to TN SB 484) Session ended – Carry over to 2014
Tennessee SB 484 3/27/13: Assigned to Senate Committee on Commerce & Labor Requires health insurance policies to cover telemedicine services. (similar to TN HB 923) Session ended – Carry over to 2014