New York Mandates Coverage for Telemedicine

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation mandating that healthcare procedures delivered via telemedicine and telehealth be covered as insurable procedures comparable to in-person encounters.

The legislation, which covers services rendered under commercial insurers and Medicaid, is the result of identical bills that passed through both houses of the state legislature in 2014. The Assembly bill was sponsored by Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell and the Senate bill was sponsored by Senator Catharine Young.

"Under the legislation drafted by Senator Young, telehealth services will now be classified as a reimbursable form of medical coverage, thus ensuring that patients, who would otherwise be entitled to receive the same coverage through in-person based monitoring or consulting services, will now be entitled to receive their necessary care through the use of remote monitoring and other telehealth technologies," Young's office said.

The legislation separates the definition of telemedicine and telehealth: telemedicine is defined as real-time two-way audiovisual communications, while telehealth's broader definition includes telephones, remote monitoring devices, and other electronic devices which facilitate care.

The legislation as approved is available here.

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