New Telemedicine law legislated by Kansas

May 15, 2018  Source: Ddu 209

A broader law defining at greater lengths the terms telemedicine and telehealth has been signed by Jeff Coyler, Kansas Governor. Apart from setting guidelines for coverage parity, the law has stipulated a ban on abortions by telemedicine.  The law also includes a mandatory rule stating that if a judge dismisses that particular clause, the whole law stands nullified.

Legislators opposing abortion have stated that getting their approval was subject to an effectively coded bill whereas legislators in favor of abortion have said that the entire exercise has turned a much-required healthcare bill into a political endeavor.

There were intense negotiations spread over several months between telehealth advocates, lawmakers and payers following which the bill was tabled in January. Concerns over reimbursement parity led to the derailment of two pieces of legislation in 2017. In its present form, the law has made coverage parity an established norm and permitted payers to formulate reimbursement rules for telehealth services. The bill was passed in the Senate by votes of 32-6 and in the House by 107-13.

The formulation of the new law has marked clear definitions for telemedicine and telehealth by including not only virtual visits but also store-and-forward or asynchronous visits, telehealth and facilitates the establishment of a doctor-patient relationship through the platform. The law prohibits interactions over phone, e-mail or fax.   

By editor