HBA-CCH, CCH H.B. 1801 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1801 By: Maxey Public Health 3/1/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Telemedicine provides heath care professionals the opportunity to diagnose and treat conditions at a distance using interactive audio and video communications. Although the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Benefits Improvement and Protection Act of 2000 prohibits substituting telemedicine for personal home health care visits in federal programs, individual states have the option under Medicaid to utilize telemedicine services to supplement personal home health care visits. Ideally, a physician would authorize telemedicine as part of the patient's overall plan of care which would include personal visits as well. In this way, telemedicine may improve patients' self-care and reduce unnecessary physician visits, inpatient admissions, and emergency room visits. A pilot program for telemedicine home health care services may help answer questions related to reimbursement, cost effectiveness, and the types of patients who can benefit from telemedicine. House Bill 1801 requires the Health and Human Services Commission to establish a pilot program to provide telemedicine home health care services to certain Medicaid recipients. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the Health and Human Services Commission in SECTION 1 (Section 32.053, Human Resources Code) of this bill. ANALYSIS House Bill 1801 amends the Human Resources Code to require the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to establish a pilot program under which certain recipients of Medicaid assistance receive home health care services through telemedicine in addition to other home health care services for which the recipients are eligible. H.B. 1801 sets forth eligibility criteria that HHSC is required to adopt. The bill requires HHSC to determine the home health care services that will be provided to program participants through telemedicine. In designing and implementing the program, HHSC is required to ensure that: _home health care services supplement rather than replace necessary in-person home visits by home health care providers; _a program participant receives for the duration of services, at no cost to the participant, telemedicine equipment other than a telephone line and telephone necessary for receipt of services; _a program participant or the participant's regular caregiver receives personal training and written instructions in the use and maintenance of the telemedicine equipment; and _the quality of the telemedicine services and the program participant's satisfaction is frequently monitored and evaluated. The bill also requires HHSC to adopt all rules necessary for the implementation of the program. No later than December 1, 2004, HHSC is required to submit a report to the legislature including the program's cost-effectiveness, the program's effect on the quality of health care received by program participants, and recommendations related to the future of the program. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.