Private insurance companies are required by the Ohio Telehealth Law to cover virtual doctor visits over phone or laptop.
Governor Mike DeWine signed the budget bill which allows Telehealth coverage for a quarter of Ohioans with private health insurance.
Medical professionals and patients are said to benefit from this new bill as the cost for the consultation will be charged to the insurance company. In addition, patients with no urgent concerns can cut off on distance traveled to visit a doctor and increase convenience.
According to Health Policy News, Gov. Jon Husted said that the Telehealth Bill is an emerging trend in the healthcare industry and people suffering from addiction and mental-health issues can benefit from it. “Expanding the telemedicine coverage would increase convenience, broaden access for people in rural areas and decrease the likelihood that people visit the emergency room for routine health,” said Husted.
The DeWine administration is pushing for health benefits plan that would have the same basis and the same extent as the in-person services. The proposal will affect individuals, groups and large-group plans with state-regulated insurance plans and premiums. According to Health Policy News, approximately 1.7 million people in Ohio will be affected once this bill is implemented.
Telehealth Medical Director Brian Zach is also positive about this new bill saying that it will ‘increase compliance’ to help patients with chronic diseases to update weight and blood pressure without going to the doctors.
The market for the non-emergency telemedicine visits is increasing in number and according to First Stop Health, 400 million people in the United States are availing of this service. Market penetration for this market amounts to 1.25 million consultations.
Clinics in Ohio like Cleveland Clinic is said to prioritize telemedicine visits as demand increased in 2014.