Physical and Mental Health providers have used telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic and found it to be a safe and efficient way to “see” patients while minimizing exposure to the virus. But they’ve been concerned this tool would disappear once the Emergency Orders expired.
HB 1623, which has passed both the New Hampshire House and the Senate, removes that fear. It enables reimbursement parity and allows providers to continue billing Medicaid and commercial insurers the same rate as they would for a face-to-face visit. The bill includes video, audio, or combinations of both and covers all areas on health care, including primary care, dentists, mental health, behavioral health, substance use disorders, dietitians, and home monitoring services.
Seacoast Mental Health Center (SMHC) has utilized telehealth for day-to-day case management and it is helping greatly to keep in touch with our clients, who might have transportation or childcare issues that would prevent them from keeping their appointments. Most of our psychiatry staff is doing telehealth visits, also.
“Telehealth is not a replacement for all services,” said Jay Couture, President & CEO of SMHC. “But it is making a difference right now and we can see it moving forward, for clients who do not have access, or maybe not enough data for video, they can be reached using the telephone.”
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