Florida Health Care Providers and Insurers Take Step Forward with Passage of New Telehealth Bill Focusing on Reimbursement

Wednesday, March 30, 2016
By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

On March 11, 2016, the Florida Legislature passed a new bill designed to set the stage for telemedicine commercial insurance coverage. This is a giant step forward as the Florida Legislature has had several unsuccessful attempts in the past. The current bill benefits providers of telehealth services, focusing on commercial insurance coverage and reimbursement.

Key Elements in the New Telehealth Bill.

The members of the Florida Legislature unanimously passed a bill that creates a Telehealth Advisory Council within Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). It requires Florida’s Department of Health (DOH), Office of Insurance Regulation, and AHCA to make recommendations based on research on services provided through telemedicine. It will also research the extent to which it is used and the estimated costs and savings, and also look into reimbursement rates that the plans are actually paying to providers.

The Telehealth Advisory Council is then responsible for taking its findings and give a report to the Governor and the Legislature containing its recommendations. Providers and insurers that refuse to report the information can face fines and penalties.

The continued expansions in reimbursement means providers can enhance telehealth offerings, both for immediate cost savings and growing opportunities for revenue generation.

The research data from providers and insurers must be completed and complied by June 30, 2018.  The Telehealth Advisory Council is required to have its report completed and turned in by December 1, 2018.

Click here to read one of our prior blogs on Telemedicine legislation in Florida.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in Representing Health Care Professionals and Providers.

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Lacktman, Nathaniel. “Florida Passes New Telehealth Bill: Focus is Reimbursement.” AHLA. (March 16, 2016). Web.

Dvorak, Katie. “Florida Moves Forward on Telemedicine, Texas remains in the past.” FierceHealthIT. (March 15, 2016). Web.

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.  He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.  Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area.  www.TheHealthLawFirm.com  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone:  (407) 331-6620.

KeyWords: Telemedicine, Florida telemedicine, telehealth expansion, online doctor, virtual healthcare, e-visit, Florida Department of Health (DOH), Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), Telehealth Advisory Council, Office of Insurance Regulation, Telehealth Association of Florida, Telehealth reimbursement,  health care reform, defense attorney, defense lawyer, health care attorney, health care lawyer, health law, Florida Board of Medicine, Florida Legislature, commercial insurance coverage,  administrative law

"The Health Law Firm" is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. - The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
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