FINAL BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
C 48 L 19
Synopsis as Enacted
Brief Description: Concerning training standards in providing telemedicine services.
Sponsors: Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care (originally sponsored by Senators Becker, Cleveland, Rivers, O'Ban, Short, Braun, Wilson, L., Holy, Brown, Warnick, Bailey, Zeiger, Conway and Van De Wege).
Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care
House Committee on Health Care & Wellness
Background: In 2016 the Collaborative for the Advancement of Telemedicine (collaborative) was established. The collaborative is hosted by the University of Washington Telehealth Services and is comprised of one member from each of the two largest caucuses of the Senate and the House of Representatives, and representatives from the academic community, hospitals, clinics, and health care providers in primary care and specialty practices, carriers, and other interested parties.
The collaborative is required to develop recommendations on improving reimbursement and access to services, including reviewing the originating site restrictions, provider to provider consultative models, and technologies and models of care not currently reimbursed. The collaborative must identify telemedicine best practices, guidelines, billing requirements, and fraud prevention developed by recognized medical and telemedicine organizations. In 2018 the collaborative was extended to terminate in December 2021.
In 2018, the Legislature tasked the collaborative with reviewing the concept of telemedicine payment parity and developing recommendations on reimbursing for telemedicine at the same rate as if the provider provided services in person, for the treatment of certain conditions. The collaborative was also tasked with designing a training program to teach health care professionals about telemedicine and proper billing
Summary: Beginning January 1, 2020, health care professionals who provide services through telemedicine may complete telemedicine training prior to providing services through telemedicine to patients in Washington State. If a health care professional completes training they must sign and retain an attestation.
The training required:
must include information on current state and federal law, liability, informed consent, and other criteria established by the collaborative in conjunction with the Department of Health and the Medical Commission;
must include a question and answer methodology;
may be made available electronically;
may be incorporated into existing telemedicine training programs; and
must be made available by the collaborative on its website by January 1, 2020.
Votes on Final Passage:
July 28, 2019