Tomorrow CAAA begins its summer confab in Las Vegas.
As usual, there will be interesting theories and speculation on the direction of California workers’ comp law.
But the site of the conference got me wondering. What’s new in Nevada’s workers’ comp law?
The answer seems to be “telemedicine”. Telemedicine software provider CloudVisit claims in a press release that Nevada “is the only state extending telemedicine reimbursement under workers’ compensation.” Nevada passed the TeleHealth Advancement Act of 2015.
But to say that only Nevada allows telemedicine in workers’ comp is not exactly correct, as I note below in a discussion of the Oranje case.
Here is a link to a powerpoint by Bill Welch, President of the Nevada Hospital Association, titled “The State of TeleHealth in Nevada: Challenges and Proposed Solutions”:
In 2011 Governor Jerry Brown signed the California TeleHealth Advancement Act, (known as B&P Code 2290.5) updating a 1996 law dealing with telemedicine.
Telemedicine was an issue in a 2014 California workers’ comp case, Oranje v. Crestwood Behavioral Health where a WCAB panel upheld an award of telephonic treatment for a worker who had moved to Nevada. After moving Ms. Orange continued to receive counseling sessions from her California-licensed marriage and family therapist.
Nevada is sparsely populated and telemedicine may have unique advantages there, some of which are noted in Welch’s powerpoint.
But we will see more telemedicine in California as certain specialists are harder to find and as MPN networks struggle with access issues.
Here is a link to the Oranje decision: