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December 10, 2020

Telemedicine Payment Parity Now Permanent in Washington

The Washington State Legislature has extended Gov. Jay Inslee's proclamation temporarily requiring telemedicine payment parity through Dec. 31. With provisions of Senate Bill 5385 requiring payment parity from state-regulated health plans taking effect on Jan. 1, telemedicine payment parity is now effectively permanent in Washington state.

Throughout the pandemic, the WSMA has advocated for sensible telehealth policies, including telemedicine payment parity, as a key component of physicians' pandemic response. The WSMA is pleased to see this final extension - and payment parity - now in place for Washington's physicians and patients.

Why it matters: During the public health crisis, telemedicine has emerged as a critical platform, allowing patients to see their physicians without the need to travel and risk exposure, while allowing physicians the ability to manage acute or chronic conditions unrelated to COVID-19, including primary care, pediatric care, wellness exams, behavioral health, and other services. With telemedicine parity, patients for whom telemedicine is appropriate can receive care from their homes to slow community spread of illness while helping alleviate the financial peril practices face during the pandemic.

For more information and resources on utilizing telemedicine in your practice during the pandemic, visit our telehealth webpage.

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