Florida July 2019 Fact Sheet
July 23, 2019
Florida’s HB23, signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis on June 25, 2019, officially introducing a negotiable type of telehealth parity legislation. The law, effective January 1, 2020, introduces significant changes for state telemedicine policy by private payors and changes the definition of telehealth, which is also applicable to Medicaid.
New Telehealth Definition
“Telehealth” means the use of synchronous or asynchronous telecommunications technology by a telehealth provider to provide health care services, including, but not limited to, assessment, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, and monitoring of a patient; transfer of medical data; patient and professional health-related education; public health services; and health administration. The term does not include audio-only telephone calls, e-mail messages, or facsimile transmissions.”
- Inclusion of asynchronous telecommunications allows for store-and-forward and remote patient monitoring.
- “Public health service” includes Medicaid and therefore apply the aforementioned telecommunication technologies methodologies to Medicaid patients.
Partial Payment Parity
“A contract between a health insurer issuing major medical comprehensive coverage through an individual or group policy and a telehealth provider, as defined in s. 456.47, must be voluntary between the insurer and the provider and must establish mutually acceptable payment rates or payment methodologies for services provided through telehealth. Any contract provision that distinguishes between payment rates or payment methodologies for services provided through telehealth and the same services provided without the use of telehealth must be initialed by the telehealth provider.”
- As partial payment parity, this statute requires a negotiation to occur between the provider and payor for virtual care rates. As there is a negotiation involved, equal reimbursement rates are not guaranteed. If rates differ between virtual and in-person care, it must be mutually agreed upon and “initialed” in the contract by the provider.
Registration of Out-of-State Providers
“A health care professional not licensed in this state may provide health care services to a patient located in this state using telehealth if the health care professional registers with the applicable board, or the department if there is no board, and provides health care services within the applicable scope of practice established by Florida law or rule.”
- Healthcare providers in other states are permitted to treat Florida patients, provided they meet certain criteria, including state registration.
- State registration not required for providers treating existing patients for emergency care.
For more information on reimbursement and telemedicine policy in Florida, check out the VisuWell Reimbursement Map.