Action Alert: Ask the Legislature to Continue Reimbursement for Phone-Only Medical Services
During the COVID-19 state of emergency, the Department of Financial Regulation has required that Vermont insurers reimburse for nearly all medical services delivered with audio-visual telehealth and audio-only telephone. The Senate Health and Welfare Committee is currently discussing whether to require insurance companies to continue to reimburse for phone-only medical services beyond the period of the emergency. A number of medical professionals and organizations testified in favor of this proposal last week. Your voice is now needed to stress the importance of insurance coverage for this lifeline to services. Please contact members of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee today to share stories of how being able to provide care via telephone will continue to be needed after the pandemic. Other themes to share with Committee members include:
- Equity (we know that older, minority and lower socio-economic status individuals are most at risk for lacking broadband or the technology to connect with video)
- Patient preference (some patients prefer to connect without video)
- Reimbursement continuing at the same rate with in-person services (it can take the same if not more effort, time, staffing to serve patients via telehealth)
- Standard of care (the same standard of care applies regardless of the modality and clinicians have the skills to screen patient to see if they can address an issue via phone vs in-person)
Contact Jessa Barnard at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.