Last week, the American Telemedicine Association sent a letter to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners recommending changes to the NAIC’s network adequacy model to improve and better support telehealth efforts, Clinical Innovation & Technology reports (Walsh, Clinical Innovation & Technology, 7/3).
In the letter, ATA said recognition of telehealth in NAIC’s Managed Care Plan Network Adequacy Model Act is “essential for health plans to innovate” health care delivery (Bowman, FierceHealthIT, 7/2).
ATA proposed several recommendations for the NAIC to include in its standards, such as:
- Adding a definition of telehealth;
- Broadening the access plan to include a reference to telehealth-provided services; and
- Incorporating language that reflects care delivery innovations (Clinical Innovation & Technology, 7/3).
Specifically, ATA recommended replacing the word:
- “Appointments” with “visits” to better reflect the delivery of services and the “24/7, on-demand and online world for health services;” and
- “Proximity” with “access” to address providers who are not in the immediate vicinity.
In addition, ATA called on NAIC to create a standard for health carriers regarding the information that should be included in a directory of participating providers.ATA said that such a directory should:
- Identify the telehealth providers in the network;
- Include a description of the telehealth services they offer; and
- Name the states in which they are licensed.
Further, ATA recommended that the carrier be required to make the telehealth provider directory available online and in print (ATA letter, 7/1).
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