MHA’s telehealth advocacy is led through the Massachusetts Telemedicine Coalition (tMED).
tMED represents more than 50 healthcare provider organizations, consumer advocates, and technology leaders whose mission is to support the advancement and expansion telehealth in Massachusetts.
The Coalition works directly with policymakers and healthcare experts to promote:
- Sustainable Policies: Championing laws and regulations — including fair reimbursement and administrative simplification — that empower healthcare providers to sustain virtual care services.
- Digital Equity: Ensuring all Massachusetts community members have the digital access and literacy needed to utilize telehealth services.
- Continued Growth & Evolution: Providing healthcare organizations with the tools and best practices they need to expand telehealth within the communities they serve.
An Act Relative to Telehealth and Digital Equity for Patients
Sponsored by Rep. Marjorie Decker & Sen. Adam Gomez
This proposal builds off the gains made over the past several years, providing Massachusetts with a long-term infrastructure to sustain and grow virtual care for the millions of patients within its borders.
The legislation would:
- Require reimbursement parity for all telehealth services to be on-par with in-person services.
- Establish task forces to study interstate clinician licensure to allow for virtual care to be delivered across state lines.
- Expand access to the affordable connectivity program to support lower-income patients.
- Clarify coverage and reimbursement for e-consults and remote patient monitoring.
- Preserve current MassHealth coverage and reimbursement policies.
- Prohibit insurers from imposing prior authorization requirements for medically necessary telehealth visits.
- Requires insurers to cover interpreter services for patients with limited English proficiency and for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- Expands the definition of chronic disease management covered by telehealth to include COVID-19 and its long-term symptoms, as well as additional chronic diseases for children.
- Engages the Department of Insurance to establish standardized procedures to establish a patient’s eligibility across all healthcare providers and payers — including for telehealth services.
The HPC Report
In January of 2023, the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission issued a report on telehealth usage, with a major finding: virtual care did not increase total healthcare spending, while still improving access for patients with chronic conditions, in urban communities, and in need of mental healthcare.