Washington has long been a leader in both innovation and health care. Telehealth, which lays at the intersection of the two, is an innovative,cost-effective way to deliverhealth care to underserved populations.
Seeing the value of telehealth, Washington state requires health insurance companies, Medicaid managed care plans, and health plans offered to Washington State employees to reimburse health care providers who provide health care services via telehealth technology. The rules apply to both real-time transmitted appointments and to “store-and-forward” services which involve information, including images, data and labs, reviewed at a later time – though reimbursement for those services must be explicitly outlined in provider agreements.
Telehealth shows particular promise at reducing the costs and hassle associated with renewing contact lens prescriptions.