Nine in 10 large employers will make telehealth services available next year to employees in states where it is allowed, up from 70% this year, and virtually all will offer telemedicine by 2020, according to the latest annual survey by the National Business Group on Health. The Large Employers’ 2017 Health Plan Design Survey is based on responses from 133 large U.S. employers offering coverage to more than 15 million Americans. Respondents expect health benefit cost increases to hold steady at 6% in 2017, with most considering specialty pharmacy the highest driver of health costs. In other telehealth news, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently clarified on its website that states are not required to submit a separate state plan amendment for Medicaid coverage or reimbursement of telemedicine services if they reimburse for telemedicine services the same way/amount that they pay for face-to-face services, visits or consultations.

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