Telemedicine Legislation Clears Key Committee Vote
January 30, 2018
Legislation to put Pennsylvania on track to becoming a telemedicine-friendly state cleared an important vote today. Senate Bill 780, sponsored by State Senator Elder Vogel (R-Beaver), gained unanimous approval from the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee.
The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) has strongly supported telemedicine as a tool to help consumers access high-quality primary and specialty care, saving them time and money. Hospitals and physicians that offer telemedicine utilize state-of-the-art technology to help consumers access a variety of primary and specialty services including preventive care, chronic condition management, telestroke, and teledermatology. And, as the commonwealth works to address the opioid epidemic, telepsychiatry is helping substance use disorder patients access behavioral health services right from their treatment facilities.
SB 780 defines telemedicine, ensures that consumers get care from qualified practitioners, and makes certain that Pennsylvania’s diverse insurance community covers telemedicine consistently.
“Pennsylvania’s hospital community is committed to providing the right care, in the right place, at the right time. Hospitals have seen first-hand how telemedicine can help consumers gain access to providers from the comfort of their own home, bring down the cost of care, reduce wait times for high-demand specialty services, and improve access to care for many Pennsylvanians,” said HAP President and CEO Andy Carter.
“HAP applauds Sen. Vogel for his effort to provide health care consumers with greater choice and flexibility in receiving the care they need. We encourage all policymakers to support the measure as it moves forward.”
The bill awaits consideration by the full Senate.