Senate Approves Telemedicine Bill

HARRISBURG – The Senate today approved legislation that promotes telemedicine as a way to overcome barriers to quality patient care created by distance and reduce the costs of those services, according to Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46), who voted for the bill.

Telemedicine is a rapidly growing component of health care. While many health care professionals and hospitals in Pennsylvania are already providing services via telemedicine, this legislation will ensure more patients have access to it.

Senate Bill 705 requires each of Pennsylvania’s licensure boards to develop regulations within the scope of their practice and standard of care to support the use of telemedicine services. It also provides clarity regarding insurance company reimbursement.

The legislation prohibits a health insurance policy from excluding a health care service solely because the service is provided through telemedicine, and provides clarity regarding insurance company reimbursement for those services.

“The two biggest health care concerns for families in our area are the cost of care and the availability and access to doctors and other services. This measure will have a big impact in our area, providing more patients the ability to stay in their communities, avoiding long-distance travel for specialized care,” Sen. Bartolotta said. “I am thankful that we are moving forward on measures to promote the access and affordability of health care services.”

The legislation would help expand care and reduce costs, especially for seniors, individuals with disabilities, and members of rural or underserved communities.

The legislation now heads to the state House of Representatives for consideration.

CONTACTColleen Greer, 717-787-1463