OLR Bill Analysis

SB 298

AN ACT CONCERNING TELEHEALTH SERVICES FOR MEDICAID RECIPIENTS.

SUMMARY:

This bill requires the Department of Social Services to provide Medicaid coverage for telehealth services and requires the commissioner to seek a federal waiver or amend the state Medicaid plan to obtain federal reimbursement for the cost of covering these services. It also requires the commissioner to report by January 1, 2018 to the Human Services and Public Health committees on providing telehealth services to Medicaid recipients.

Under the bill, “telehealth” means delivering health care services through information and communication technologies to facilitate the diagnosis, consultation, treatment, education, care management, and self-management of a patient's physical and mental health. It includes:

1. interaction between a patient at an originating site and the telehealth provider at a distant site and

2. synchronous (real-time) interactions, asynchronous store and forward transfers (transmitting medical information from the patient to the telehealth provider for review at a later time), or remote patient monitoring.

Telehealth does not include using fax, audio-only telephone, texting, or e-mail.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2016

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Health Committee

Joint Favorable Change of Reference

Yea

26

Nay

0

(03/07/2016)

Human Services Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

18

Nay

0

(03/15/2016)