HB 29, “Insurance Coverage for Telehealth” ~ Support February 2020

The Alaska Collaborative for Telemedicine and Telehealth wrote this letter in support of House Bill 29 currently in the Alaska Legislature. The Alaska Collaborative for Telemedicine and Telehealth (AKCTT) is writing this letter in support of HB 29, “Insurance Coverage for Telehealth”. We are a statewide, non-profit, nonpartisan forum committed to facilitating the advancement of telehealth throughout Alaska. AKCTT supports efforts to improve access to timely, appropriate, essential and effective services in our local communities. Requiring insurance payment for telemedicine increases service options and aids in improving health outcomes for many Alaskans. Further, AKCTT is in support of payment parity for services provided via telemedicine. Ensuring payment equity to services provided in a face-to-face modality inspires providers to invest in the technology, staff and training necessary to provide telehealth services.  Additionally, AKCTT is in support of insurance coverage for all healthcare services that may be provided via telemedicine commensurate with current professional standards. This includes services provided in Alaska that do not require licensure. For example, Substance Use Treatment Clinics operate under a Program Approval issued by the Department of Health & Social Services. While some of the practitioners working in these agencies are licensed, substance counselors and other practitioners operate under other credentials.

FCC Listening Sessions

The Federal Communications Commission’s Connect2Health Task Force will convene virtual listening sessions beginning next month to get input on broadband health issues, including on the rural/urban gap and other digital divide issues, from stakeholders out-side Washington, D.C. The task force is developing recommendations on regulatory, policy, technical and infrastructure issues concerning the emerging broadband-enabled health care ecosystem. That includes the FCC’s Rural Broadband Program, which pro-vides funding for rural health care providers. View Sessions: FCC Listening Sessions_ActionAlert_7-24-17