Additional telemedicine services will be covered under Medicaid in New York state under a measure signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo Wednesday.
The bill (S.8416/A.10404) would expand the types of telemedicine services reimbursed by Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program to include audio- and video-only services.
The measure was passed by the state Legislature in late May along with about 30 bills related to the coronavirus outbreak.
Telemedicine services have become increasingly important during the pandemic, but some residents, particularly those in rural parts of the state, don’t have broadband access. The law allows video- and audio-only services to be reimbursed, contingent on federal financial participation.
Medicaid and CHIP are joint federal/state programs for low-income families. The federal government provides the bulk of the funding for the health coverage, but the state administers the program and has some discretion over how the it operates and what it covers.
Vaccine Administration, Emergency Plans
Cuomo (D) also signed the following measures on Wednesday, but he didn’t provide additional comments:
- A bill (S.8397A/A.10326A) increasing protections for whistleblowers by prohibiting health-care employers from penalizing workers who speak out about unsafe conditions. Employees would be protected if they report violations to the news media and on publicly accessible social media.
- Licensed pharmacists will be allowed to administer a federally approved Covid-19 vaccine once one is created, according to another measure (S.8182/A.10508).
- Residential health-care facilities must submit a pandemic emergency plan to the state annually. The plan must address how the facility would communicate with families and how employees and residents would be protected against infection, according to one bill (S.8289B/A.10394).
- The state will create a disaster emergency loan program allowing industrial development agencies to support small businesses and nonprofits during public health emergencies, according to another bill (S.8181A/A.10294).