As employers are learning about the advantages of telemedicine, many have begun offering this service to their employees as a perk. While the ease and cost savings are attractive for both employer and employee, adding telemedicine to your organization’s lineup could subject you to additional legal requirements. Below are three key considerations that you’ll want to keep in mind as you design your telemedicine employee benefit.
1. Will the scope of your proposed telemedicine services constitute a group health plan?
If so, then your program will be constrained by the numerous legal regulations relevant to group health plans, such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Rather than offer telemedicine as a stand-alone program, try using it as a supplement to your health plan.
2. Can your group health plan facilitate the telemedicine program?
Some insurers and third party administrators may not have the capability to offer telemedicine. In this case, see if your plan can adjust to allow telemedicine services from another vendor.
3. Will any legal restrictions affect your ability to offer telemedicine?
For instance, state laws may stipulate that certain services require an in-office visit rather than a video consultation, or they may require the physician and patient to be in the same state at the time of service.
A well-designed telemedicine program takes these factors into account while offering reliability and flexibility to position your company and staff to maintain good health at lower costs and greater convenience.