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S.F. No. 981 - Telemedicine Coverage (Second Engrossment)
Author: Senator Julie A. Rosen
Prepared By: Katie Cavanor, Senate Counsel (651/296-3801)
Date: April 7, 2015


SF 981 requires coverage of health care services provided by telemedicine to be covered under regulated health plans and under the medical assistance program.

Section 1 (62A.67) permits these sections to be cited as the “Minnesota Telemedicine Act.”

Section 2 (62A.671) defines the following terms:  distant site; health care provider; health carrier; health plan; originating site; store-and-forward technology; and telemedicine.

Section 3 (62A.672) requires the coverage of telemedicine services.

Subdivision 1 requires a health plan issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2017, to cover telemedicine benefits in the same manner as any other benefit covered under the health plan.

Subdivision 2 prohibits a health carrier from denying coverage of a service solely because the service was delivered via telemedicine and was not provided through in-person contact between the health care provider and patient.

Subdivision 3 requires the health carrier to reimburse the distant site provider for services delivered via telemedicine on the same basis and at the same rate as would apply to the services, consultation, or contacts if provided in person.  Permits the health carrier to require a deductible, co-payment, or coinsurance for services provided by telemedicine if the same deductible, co-payment, or coinsurance is required if the service is provided through in-person contact.

Subdivision 4 requires a health carrier to pay a provider that provides the facility used as the originating site for the delivery of telemedicine to the enrollee.  The facility fee payment to the originating site provider is in addition to the reimbursement to the distant site provider.  This payment is not subject to any patient coinsurance, deductible, or co-payment obligation.

Section 4 (256B.0625, subdivision 3b) specifies that medical assistance cover services and consultations delivered via telemedicine as defined under section 62A.71, subdivision 7 (real-time two-way, interactive audio and visual communications and through technologies consisting of telephones, patient monitoring devises or other electronic means) in the same manner as if the service or consultation was delivered in person.  Requires medical assistance to provide a facility fee payment to the originating site provider.  The payment to the originating site provider is in addition to the reimbursement for the telemedicine service.

Section 5 specifies that the effective date for sections 1 and 2 is August 1, 2016.


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