I came across this article today as I was exploring some details regarding recent legislation that was signed into law in Iowa. https://www.healthcarelawtoday.com/2018/04/23/iowas-new-telehealth-law-what-you-need-to-know/
A few key points about the legislation.
1. It would appear that the intent was to create a reimbursement environment that affords providers the same level of reimbursement for telehealth and virtual care as in-person services.
2. The law defines telehealth as being a combination of audio AND video. So, store and forward remote monitoring solutions are not currently included.
3. The legislation takes effect on January 1, 2019.
Overall, I am glad that Iowa has taken this action and I am hopeful that more clarification will be provided in the future. I believe that Iowa's rural hospitals stand to benefit greatly from this in terms of being able to create platforms that keep care local. Helping rural providers provide access to specialists without need to have those specialists travel, providing consults that allow local providers to make timely decisions on whether a transfer is needed or if the patient can stay close to home, and providing a platform to allow patients to visit their physician without leaving their home are all good things for Iowa health.
At ICE we stand committed to helping small and mid-sized healthcare providers keep care local. We have been testing and evaluating platforms and methods to bring telehealth and virtual care to our customers in an affordable and reliable way. If you would like any guidance or assistance implementing those solutions in your community, please give us a call.