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NJDOBI Mandates Insurance Carriers to Reimburse Providers for Telemedicine and Telehealth Encounters During State of Emergency and Public Health Emergency

NJDOBI issued Bulletin 20-07 to mandate insurance carriers to reimburse providers for telemedicine and telehealth encounters.  This applies to: (1) all health insurance companies; all HMOs; all health service corporations and any other entity issuing health benefits plans in New Jersey.

The mandate requires the insurance carriers to do the following:

  1. Review their telemedicine and telehealth networks for adequacy and grant any requested in-plan exception for individuals to access out of health telehealth providers if network providers are unavailable.

  2. Encourage their network providers to utilize telemedicine or telehealth services wherever possible and clinically appropriate in order to minimize exposure of provider staff and other patients to those who may have the COVID-19 virus

  3. Update their policies to include reimbursement for telehealth services that are provided by a provider in any manner that is practicable, including, if appropriate, and clinically appropriate, by telephone.   The Bulletin suggests that this be done on the carrier’s website.  This would include instruction on the use of telephone-only communications to establish a physician-patient relationship and the expanded use of telehealth for the diagnosis, treatment, ordering of tests, and prescribing for all conditions. Carriers are required to update telehealth policies to include telephone only services within the definition of telehealth.

  4. Reimburse providers that deliver covered services to members via telemedicine or telehealth. Carriers may establish requirements for such telemedicine and/or telehealth services, and guidance issued by the Department, including documentation and recordkeeping, but such requirements may not be more restrictive than those for in-person services. Carriers are not permitted to impose any specific requirements on the technologies used to deliver telemedicine and/or telehealth services (including any limitations on audio-only or live video technologies) during the state of emergency and public health emergency declared pursuant to EO 103.

  5. Ensure that the rates of payment to in-network providers for services delivered via telemedicine or telehealth are not lower than the rates of payment established by the carrier for services delivered via traditional (i.e., in-person) methods, and carriers must notify providers of any instructions that are necessary to facilitate billing for such telehealth services.

  6. May not impose any restriction on the reimbursement for telehealth or telemedicine that requires that the provider who is delivering the services be licensed in a particular state, so long as the provider is in compliance with P.L. 2020, c.3 and c.4 and this guidance.

  7. May not impose prior authorization requirements on medically-necessary treatment that is delivered via telemedicine or telehealth.

See the entire text of Bulletin 20-07.

© 2020 Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla, P.C. All Rights Reserved National Law Review, Volume X, Number 83
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About this Author

Frank R. Ciesla, Giordano Law Firm Health Care Litigation Health Care Fraud and Abuse Tax Health & Hospital Law
Of Counsel

Mr. Ciesla is Chair Emeritus of the firm's Health Care Law Practice Area. His practice is primarily devoted to Health Care and Government Contracts Law. He counsels clients on legal developments facing healthcare providers in the modern health care environment. Firm clients include hospitals, nursing homes, physicians and physician groups, individual practice associations, home health agencies, ambulance carriers and industry-wide associations.

Mr. Ciesla advises such clients on business structures, mergers and consolidations, joint ventures, reorganization of health care providers...

732-741-3900
Beth Christian, Giordano Law firm, Health Care Attorney,Health Care Fraud and Abuse, Cannabis Law, Non-Profit Law
Shareholder

Ms. Christian's practice is devoted to Health Care Law and legal issues facing Health Care facilities licensed professionals and non-profit organizations. She has over twenty years of experience counseling clients on legal issues facing the modern health care and non-profit communities.

732-219-5485
Anjali Baxi, Giordano Halleran Law Firm, Healthcare Attorney, New Jersey health Law,Cannabis Law,Government Affairs,Business Transactions, Health Care Law Regulation, Medicare and NJ Medicaid Enrollment
Counsel

Anjali has been practicing law for 15 years, mainly focused on health care transactional and regulatory matters. She prepares and reviews LOIs, purchase agreements and other transaction documents for health care providers needed for the business transfer and necessary for the transfer of NJDOH and NJDHS licenses and provider numbers. She also reviews agreements required for the day to day operations of health care facilities.

She has counseled skilled nursing, assisted living, adult medical day care, outpatient facility clients and hospitals regarding NJDOH regulatory requirements,...

732-741-3900
Ari G. Burd, Shareholder, Giordano Law Firm, Labor & Employment, Cannabis Law, Health Care
Shareholder

Ari devotes his time to assisting and defending employers with regard to traditional employment issues. He frequently counsels employers for compliance with New Jersey laws and has extensive transactional and litigation experience.

Ari has litigated employment matters throughout the state, having made appearances in almost every Superior Court in New Jersey, as well as before both Federal District Courts in New Jersey and the Federal and State Courts in New York.  These actions have involved a diverse range of claims such as wrongful discharge, discrimination, harassment,...

732-741-3900
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