On Tuesday, July 7, the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2015 (H.R. 2948) was introduced in the House of Representatives by U.S. Representatives Mike Thompson (D-CA), Gregg Harper (R-MS), Diane Black (R-TN) and Peter Welch (D-VT). According to a press release from the office of Rep. Thompson, the bipartisan legislation would provide for an incremental expansion of coverage for telehealth services under Medicare by putting them on the path toward parity with in-person health care visits. Among other provisions, the legislation would remove the geographic barriers under current law and allow the provision of telehealth services in rural, underserved and metropolitan areas. The legislation has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Committee on Ways and Means.
Also on Tuesday, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signed telehealth parity legislation into law. According to The National Law Review, Delaware is now the 29th state to enact legislation requiring commercial insurers to cover services provided via telemedicine and telehealth to the same extent those services are covered through in-person visits.