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Maine Insurance Bureau clarifies new telehealth law



In June, Maine passed legislation that eliminates the distinction between telecommunications services and telephone services from medical providers, but the Maine Insurance Bureau last week published a bulletin clarifying the new regulation.

Telehealth services have been approved for at least a decade, the agency said. As a result of L.D. 791, but telephone services are considered a subset of telecommunications health, the agency said in a statement Thursday.

"This does not mean that all telephone calls between patients and providers are now considered 'telehealth' for reimbursement," the department said in its bulletin.

"However, the telephone may be a method of" provision of health care services ", to the extent that it complies with other applicable laws, standards of practice and any rules adopted by the respective licensing boards."

The law also states that coverage is only required when suppliers act within the framework of their license. It prohibits insurers from imposing coverage restrictions to prescribe medications through telehealth that are more restrictive than they are for prescribing in person.

The law also extended the definition of "telemonitoring" as a subset of telecommunications health services to include information technology to remotely monitor a patient's health electronically, wherever the patient is.

The measure also added a requirement that the adequacy of the network be determined on the basis of the availability of personal services.

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