2017 Colorado Revised Statutes
Title 10 - Insurance
Health Care Coverage
Article 16 - Health Care Coverage
Part 1 - General Provisions
§ 10-16-123. Telehealth - definitions

(1) It is the intent of the general assembly to recognize the practice of telehealth as a legitimate means by which an individual may receive health care services from a provider without in-person contact with the provider.

(2) (a) On or after January 1, 2017, a health benefit plan that is issued, amended, or renewed in this state shall not require in-person contact between a provider and a covered person for services appropriately provided through telehealth, subject to all terms and conditions of the health benefit plan. Nothing in this section requires the use of telehealth when a provider determines that delivery of care through telehealth is not appropriate or when a covered person chooses not to receive care through telehealth. A provider is not obligated to document or demonstrate that a barrier to in-person care exists to trigger coverage under a health benefit plan for services provided through telehealth.

(b) (I) Subject to all terms and conditions of the health benefit plan, a carrier shall reimburse the treating participating provider or the consulting participating provider for the diagnosis, consultation, or treatment of the covered person delivered through telehealth on the same basis that the carrier is responsible for reimbursing that provider for the provision of the same service through in-person consultation or contact by that provider.

(II) A carrier shall not restrict or deny coverage of a health care service that is a covered benefit solely:

(A) Because the service is provided through telehealth rather than in-person consultation or contact between the participating provider or, subject to section 10-16-704, the nonparticipating provider and the covered person where the health care service is appropriately provided through telehealth; or

(B) Based on the communication technology or application used to deliver the telehealth services pursuant to this section.

(III) Section 10-16-704 applies to this subsection (2)(b), and the availability of telehealth services does not modify the requirements imposed on carriers under that section to provide a sufficient network of providers available in the community to provide in-person health care services.

(c) A carrier shall include in the payment for telehealth interactions reasonable compensation to the originating site for the transmission cost incurred during the delivery of health care services through telehealth; except that, for purposes of this subsection (2)(c), the carrier is not required to pay or reimburse for any transmission costs the covered person incurred or originating site fees, regardless of how or by whom the fees are billed, for the delivery of health care services through telehealth to or from the covered person's home or a private residence.

(d) A carrier may offer a health coverage plan containing a deductible, copayment, or coinsurance requirement for a health care service provided through telehealth, but the deductible, copayment, or coinsurance amount must not exceed the deductible, copayment, or coinsurance applicable if the same health care services are provided through in-person diagnosis, consultation, or treatment.

(e) A carrier shall not impose an annual dollar maximum on coverage for health care services covered under the health benefit plan that are delivered through telehealth, other than an annual dollar maximum that applies to the same services when performed by the same provider through in-person care.

(f) If a covered person receives health care services through telehealth, a carrier shall apply the applicable copayment, coinsurance, or deductible amount to the telehealth services under the health benefit plan, which copayment, coinsurance, or deductible amount shall not exceed the amounts applicable to those health care services when performed by the same provider through in-person care.

(g) (I) The requirements of this section apply to all health benefit plans delivered, issued for delivery, amended, or renewed in this state on or after January 1, 2017, or at any time after that date when a term of the plan is changed or a premium adjustment is made.

(II) This section does not apply to:

(A) Short-term travel, accident-only, limited or specified disease, or individual conversion policies or contracts; or

(B) Policies or contracts designed for issuance to persons eligible for coverage under Title XVIII of the "Social Security Act", as amended, or any other similar coverage under state or federal governmental plans.

(h) Nothing in this section prohibits a carrier from providing coverage or reimbursement for health care services appropriately provided through telehealth to a covered person who is not located at an originating site.

(3) A health benefit plan is not required to pay for consultation provided by a provider by telephone or facsimile unless the consultation is provided through HIPAA-compliant interactive audio-visual communication or the use of a HIPAA-compliant application via a cellular telephone.

(4) As used in this section:

(a) "Distant site" means a site at which a provider is located while providing health care services by means of telehealth.

(b) "Originating site" means a site at which a patient is located at the time health care services are provided to him or her by means of telehealth.

(c) "Store-and-forward transfer" means the electronic transfer of a patient's medical information or an interaction between providers that occurs between an originating site and distant sites when the patient is not present.

(d) "Synchronous interaction" means a real-time interaction between a patient located at the originating site and a provider located at a distant site.

(e) (I) "Telehealth" means a mode of delivery of health care services through telecommunications systems, including information, electronic, and communication technologies, to facilitate the assessment, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, education, care management, or self-management of a covered person's health care while the covered person is located at an originating site and the provider is located at a distant site. The term includes:

(A) Synchronous interactions;

(B) Store-and-forward transfers; and

(C) Services provided through HIPAA-compliant interactive audio-visual communication or the use of a HIPAA-compliant application via a cellular telephone.

(II) "Telehealth" does not include the delivery of health care services via:

(A) Voice-only telephone communication or text messaging;

(B) Facsimile machine; or

(C) Electronic mail systems.

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