We applaud the Nebraska legislature and Governor Ricketts for signing LB 92, the Telehealth bill. Telehealth is the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications in order to improve a patient’s clinical health status. In a rural state like Nebraska, telehealth can dramatically improve access to high-quality health care.
The telehealth law will enact a new section in the insurance statutes to provide individual and group health policies, certificates, contracts, and these plans shall not exclude a service from coverage solely because it is delivered through telehealth and is not provided through in-person consultation or contact between a provider and a patient.
Two-way video, email, smartphones, wireless tools, and other forms of telecommunications technology can be used to deliver high-quality health care through telehealth. Telehealth is a new method of enabling care delivery that has the potential to help transform the healthcare system, reduce costs, and increase quality and patient access. This is especially true for vulnerable cardiovascular disease or stroke who – because of their geographical location, physical disability, advanced chronic disease, or difficulty with securing transportation – may not otherwise access specialty health care services.
Telehealth has the potential to dramatically improve access to quality care in our rural state.