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CA looks to expand telemedicine access and reimbursement

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California Assembly Member V. Manuel Pérez (D) introduced Assembly Bill 1771 which prohibits a healthcare service plan or health insurer from requiring in-person contact between a healthcare provider and a patient before payment is made for covered services appropriately provided through telehealth, which is defined to mean the mode of delivering health care services via information and communication technologies, as specified.

This bill would require a healthcare service plan or a health insurer, with respect to contracts and policies issued, amended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2015, to cover physician telephonic and electronic patient management services and to reimburse those services at the same level and amount as face-to-face patient encounters with similar complexity and time expenditure. Because a willful violation of the bill’s requirements by a health care service plan or health insurer would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The measure was referred to the Assembly Health Committee where it awaits further consideration.


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