Monitor staff

As New Hampshire’s health care industry changes, the state is looking to change the way it measures access to care within insurance networks by counting the types of medical services people use, as opposed to their medical provider.

“What we’re trying to do is allow for networks that are based on cost-effective health care, including from nontraditional providers and settings,” New Hampshire Insurance Department health policy analyst Tyler Brannen said yesterday at a meeting on the still-developing network adequacy standards. “That’s one of the reasons why we’re revisiting these rules now: There have been a lot of changes in the way health care is delivered.”

Those changes, Brannen said, show up in the form of increased variety of treatments and the increasing availability of formerly hospital-based services now being delivered outside of traditional hospital settings.

The department is still weighing what the new standards will look like, with the goal of applying them to insurance products offered in 2017. Initially, the department was looking at having the standards ready for 2016 but later determined that might not allow enough time for carriers to adjust their contracts with providers, among other necessary preparations.

It convened a Network Adequacy Working Group earlier this year, which has since met several times to discuss the new rules. The formal rulemaking process has yet to begin.

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