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Mental Health Modernization Subcommittee on Telehealth Meets

Telehealth (Nov. 16, 2021) – Yesterday, the Telehealth Subcommittee of the Broader Mental Health and Modernization met, co-chaired by Shawna Wright of the University of Kansas Center for Telemedicine and Telehealth and Sunee Mickle of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas. The committee made up of private members and legislators heard an overview from Medicaid, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City on telehealth usage in Kansas. In addition, the committee heard a Kansas update from Dr. Dorothy Hughes, the University of Kansas School of Medicine, and Kyle Zebley, the American Telehealth Association. Hughes presented data and findings regarding telehealth usage in Kansas during COVID-19. Zebley spoke about the federal landscape of telehealth payment parity and indicated their membership is split on the topic of payment parity.

The committee members asked about other state models that establish a fair reimbursement structure and conferees pointed to Medicare and the process that is understandable and predictable. Conferees also gave the committee an update on the likelihood of Public Health Emergency extension in Washington as it relates to telehealth originating and distance site definitions.