NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A10404a
SPONSOR: Rosenthal L
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the public health law, in relation to including audio-
only and video-only telehealth and telemedicine services in those tele-
health and telemedicine services eligible for reimbursement
To expand telehealth services to allow for audio-only or video-only
communication, and to allow for such services to be eligible for
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section one, subdivision four of the public health law is amended to
eliminate the prohibition on audio-only telephone communications under
the definition of telehealth services. Additionally, it affirmatively
adds audio-only telephone communications as an acceptable telehealth
modality. It would require the Commissioner of Health to approve audio-
only telephone communications as a modality for Medicaid and the Child
Health Insurance Plan.
Section two, section 2999-ee of the public health law is amended to
allow for video-only telehealth services to be included in services the
Commissioner of Health authorizes for expanded telehealth services.
Section three, clarifies that audio-only telehealth services can be
reimbursed under Medicaid if approved by the Commissioner of Health,
contingent on federal financial participation.
When telemedicine first entered mainstream medical practice as a means
through which to provide and support the delivery of healthcare, it was
important that our laws evolved to ensure that this new technology
provided the same level of security and privacy offered to patients
during in-person doctor visits.
Now, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine is again at the
forefront of the healthcare landscape. As the crisis transforms-and
often mandates-changes to the way the medical community interacts with
patients and caregivers, both video and audio telemedicine have become
integral components of the delivery of care.
The law currently mandates that use of telemedicine include both audio
and video services. However, we must recognize that many vulnerable
residents in our underserved communities may not have access to video-
enabled devices. This bill will amend the current law to allow the use
of audio-only telemedicine services in order to ensure that patients in
every corner of New York State have the ability to access care and speak
with a medical professional remotely.
This act shall take effect immediately