In New York State, Children Will Have Greater Access to Telehealth

For some students, school is more than just a place to learn—it’s a place to receive essential health care. Indeed, for numerous students and their families in rural and underserved communities, the more than 2,000 school-based health centers in the United States, many of which use telemedicine to care for patients, provide a lifeline. Now, in New York State, the passage of new legislation will make it easier for more schools to bring care to their students. As mHealth Intelligence first reported, in late September, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) signed A4703, which expands the state’s list of eligible originating sites to include schools (public, private, and charter), child care programs, and day care centers. “This is another important step in expanding health care access for New York State residents,” said New York State Assemblywoman Addie Jenne, who sponsored the legislation, in a press release. “It will be extremely beneficial for areas of the state, including the North Country, that struggle with health care provider shortages.”

The new law means that health care providers, including physicians, mental health practitioners, and dentists, will be able to receive reimbursement from Medicaid and private insurers for care that they provide at schools. This “ties in nicely with the community schools model that seeks to expand services to meet all of our students’ needs,” Jenne explained. “We know it’s hard to focus on learning if a student is sick or suffering from dental or mental health issues.” Her press release also highlights some of the state’s successful school telehealth pilot programs, including one that remotely connected Rochester public school students with physicians at the University of Rochester Medical Center. And as mHealth Intelligence notes, Cuomo also recently signed another Jenne-sponsored telehealth bill, A1464, which further expands the list of eligible originating sites to include adult day health centers. Said Jenne, “It’s all about using the technology now available to expand access to health care for residents of the North Country and around the state.”

The New York State legislation is just one of many noteworthy telehealth-related bills to come through state legislatures this year. Indeed, an April report from the Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) identified more than 200 telehealth-related bills that had been introduced in 44 states in 2017 alone, and the number has only risen since. Further, states including Minnesota, Vermont, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Texas have enacted legislation that would make it easier to receive quality care via telehealth within their borders.

Click here to read the mHealth Intelligence article on the newly enacted New York State telehealth legislation.

Click here to read a press release from Assemblywoman Addie Jenne on the school telehealth legislation.

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