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Texting your therapist or emailing your doctor? That may be telehealth under new N.H. law

Anne Carle, Telehealth Nurse at Cornerstone VNA in Rochester checks in with a patient and his daughter.
Erika Lee
Courtesy of Erika Lee
Now, patients don't need to be talking live to a provider. Communication like chats and emails can also be considered telehealth.

Proponents of the law hope it will make telehealth more accessible to those with poor internet connectivity or busy schedules.

A new law signed this week by Governor Chris Sununu expands the definition of what kind of communication between a patient and medical provider can be considered telehealth.

Live communication like video chatting is already counted as telehealth. The new law expands the definition of telehealth to include interactions like texting with your therapist or emailing your doctor pictures of a rash to get their opinion. That back and forth is considered telehealth under the new law, as long as it meets standards for medical treatment.

Lindsey Courtney, who leads New Hampshire's Office of Professional Licensure and Certification, hopes this change will make telehealth more accessible for rural residents with poor internet service or people with busy schedules.

“It's not right under every circumstance, but It'll allow patients to access care at a time that's convenient to them,” Courtney said.

New Hampshire insurance officials said any state regulated insurance carrier must cover these expanded instances of telehealth when they meet standards for treatment.

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