The Washington State Legislature passed two important law changes for audio-only telemedicine during the 2022 legislative session that build on the 2021 audio-only telemedicine law. The first law change is that hospitals licensed under chapter 70.41 RCW that serve as either an originating or distant site for audio-only telemedicine are prohibited from charging a facility fee to uninsured and self-paying patients, effective June 9, 2022. Because of this, any hospitals that bill a facility fee for audio-only telemedicine should cease billing for the fee in accordance with HB 1708 (2022).
The second law change is that beginning Jan. 1, 2023, providers seeking reimbursement for audio-only telemedicine services must establish a patient-provider relationship consistent with the newly modified “established relationship” definition passed via HB 1821 (2022). Audio-only telemedicine providers should review the modified “established relationship” definition and determine any appropriate next steps to take advantage of the expanded flexibility. Click here to read WSHA’s bulletin on the two law changes.