California Telehealth Law advances the opportunities for care coordination.
Last week, we discussed the vision of the California Telehealth Advancement 2011 Law.
The telehealth law does more. We will discuss:
- Do you know what the biggest challenge is for providers using telemedicine?
- Have you considered why email is so valuable, but what its limitations are?
- Why is California’s support of store and forward technologies is so important?
There is not enough time, and too much place. Telemedicine, traditionally videoconferencing and monitoring were designed to take care of the too-much-place problem. But, neither videoconferencing nor monitoring do much about the not-enough-time problem.
Ask any provider about their biggest challenge. Invariably, the answer is not enough time. This is not a new problem, indeed. Remember the doctor with the fancy car? He bought it because he could enjoy something while he drive from hospital to office, house-call-to-home over and over again.
Store and Forward telemedicine is the answer to this problem, but has not been pushed by vendors because it is a difficult sell: reimbursement has been offered only for video technologies, with the patient present. That has been described as "Face to Face."
That is why the foresight and vision of of the California Law is so exciting.
First, it is defined in Sec 4. 2290.5:
- “Asynchronous store and forward” means the the transmission of a patient’s medical information from an originating site to the health care provider at a distant site without the presence of the patient.
Second, it requires payment to be made for store and forward services:
(c) No healthcare service plan shall require that in-person contact occur between a health care provider and a patient before payment is made for the covered services appropriately provided through telehealth, subject to the terms and conditions of the contract entered into between the enrollee or subscriber and the health care service plan, and between the health care service plan and its participating providers or provider groups.
- No healthcare service plan shall limit the type of setting where services are provided for the patient or by the healthcare provider before payment is made for the covered services appropriately provided through telehealth, subject to the terms and conditions of the contract entered into between the enrollee or subscriber and the healthcare service plan, and between the healthcare service plan and its participating providers or provider groups.
iClickCare is developed specifically to free the provider to provide the right care at the right time. If it were emergent care, then it has to be now. If it were much more consultative and chronic, the appropriate time for research and management is preferred.
We are inspired by the creativity and the signing of the law. We trust that other states, and CMS itself, will follow soon. Until they do, reimbursement issues are greatly diminished by doing the right thing and sending the data and not the patient. It makes for a happier and more satisfying work day.
The next step is for providers to acknowledge their responsibility to do more than send data, but to discuss and change based on experience, protocol and conversation. That very process is why and EMR/EHR is not a coordinator of care. Artificial intelligence and hopeful advances aside, providers still need to collaborate. This Law makes it easier and more efficient. It is truly an advance in patient care.
We have put together a concise guide and references to, guess what?, save you time: