Kansas Telemedicine Act signed into law
May 15, 2018
Despite some potential roadblocks, the Kansas Telemedicine Act made it to the finish line and was signed into law by Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer in a signing ceremony at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Kansas now joins more than 30 states with laws that effectively mandate coverage of telehealth by private payers.
"This bill will help change the lives of Kansans in all corners of our state, especially in rural areas," said Colyer, who is also a physician, during the signing ceremony. "I know, my patients are there, and this brings more access to them. For years, one of the biggest needs of our citizens has been more access to better medical care. This bill will allow doctors from all over our great state to interact with patients face to face, ensuring that they get the help they need. ... We want to make sure [telehealth] is being used to its full potential, right here in Kansas."
Here are a few facts you should know about the new legislation:
- The act will take effect January 1, 2019.
- Like most states with parity laws, the Kansas law will not guarantee that telemedicine services are reimbursed at the same rate as in-person services.
- The bill does include coverage of store-and forward.
- Eligible providers include physicians, physician assistants, advance practice registered nurses, and behavioral health professionals who are "registered, certified or otherwise authorized to practice by the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board."
- Kansas Department of Health and Environment and managed care organizations will be required to cover speech-language pathology services and audiology service by telehealth by a licensed speech-language pathologist or audiologist.
Heartland Telehealth Resource Center's Janine Gracy, MSE, provided advisory support as part of this effort and can provide guidance to health care administrators and providers with questions about the new legislation. Call HTRC at 877-643-HTRC.