legislation-update

The following is a list of legislative activities for telehealth and telemedicine within the South Central region (AR, MS and TN).  A special thanks goes to the Center for Connected Health policy for providing this information.

LEGISLATION

Approved Legislation

State Bill # Status Summary
Mississippi SB 2015 3/17/14: Approved by Governor. This bill gives the State Board of Health the authority to promulgate rules and regulations and to collect data and information on the delivery of services through the practice of telemedicine; and the use of electronic records for the delivery of telemedicine services.
Mississippi SB 2646 3/26/14:  Enacted This bill would require health insurance plans to provide coverage and reimbursement for store and forward telemedicine services and remote patient monitoring services.  Store and forward would be required to be covered to the same extent as they would reimburse for in person services, subject to certain criteria (see bill text).  The bill also defines “store and forward telemedicine services” and “remote patient monitoring services.”  A health insurance plan is defined as including health benefit plans offered by health insurers, state and school employee health insurance plans and any other public health care assistance programs.
Tennessee HB 1895 4/16/14:  Public Chaptered. This bill would define telehealth, and require a health insurance carrier to provide coverage under a health insurance policy for covered health care services delivered through telehealth, to the same extent as policies that the benefit plan permits for in-person encounters.  A health insurance carrier includes (among others) managed care organizations participating in the medical assistance program.
Tennessee SB 2050 4/21/14:  Chaptered This bill requires a health insurance carrier to reimburse for services provided through telehealth.  A health insurance carrier includes (among others) managed care organizations participating in the medical assistance program.

Legislature Adjourned without Passing

State Bill # Status Summary
Mississippi HB 578 2/13/14 Died on calendar. This bill would require health insurance plans to provide coverage and reimbursement for store and forward telemedicine services and remote patient monitoring services to the same extent as they would reimburse for in person services.  The bill also defines “store and forward telemedicine services” and “remote patient monitoring services.”  A health insurance plan is defined as including health benefit plans offered by health insurers, state and school employee health insurance plans and any other public health care assistance program.
Mississippi HB 396 3/4/14:  Died in Committee This bill gives the State Board of Health the authority to promulgate rules and regulations and to collect data and information on the delivery of services through the practice of telemedicine; and the use of electronic records for the delivery of telemedicine services.
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).
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).

REGULATION

Pending Regulation

State Bill # Status Summary
Arkansas 016.06.14 4/1/14:  Emergency Rule Adoption
Effective Date:  4/1/14
Proposed Rule:  4/11/14
Comment Deadline: 5/3/14
Title:  Rehabilitative Services for Mental Illness (RSPMI)
Agency: Department of Human Services/Division of Medical Services
This regulation would include prior authorization information for telemedicine services.
Tennessee TAC 0880-2-.16 2/11/14: Proposed Rule
Comment Deadline: 3/28/14
Title: Telemedicine Licensure
Agency:  Board of Medical Examiners
Amends rules regarding telemedicine licensure and the electronically-mediated practice of medicine.