Telehealth

Telehealth—or telemedicine—is the exchange of medical information from one site to another via electronic communications in order to improve a patient’s clinical health status. Two-way video, email, smartphones, wireless tools, and other forms of telecommunications technology can be used to deliver high-quality health care through telemedicine.

Impact of Telehealth in Pennsylvania

Telehealth can be used to connect a specialist to a patient at a distance. It can be used to deliver life-saving care, as well as deliver routine care in a timely, cost-effective manner. Services delivered through telehealth can save time and money, as well as enhance health outcomes and support population health.

Telehealth can support the right care, at the right time, and in the right setting for Pennsylvanians.

Telehealth quickly grew in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to emergency regulatory flexibility at both the state and federal level that expanded access. HAP is advocating to permanently continue Pennsylvanians' access to important telehealth services. 

Pennsylvania Telehealth Legislation

HAP supports Senate Bill 705, which establishes a clear definition for telehealth in state law, sets guidelines for who can provide telehealth services, and clarifies payments to health care providers for telehealth services.

HAP also supported adoption of Act 76 during July 2020, which authorizes telehealth for behavioral health services. 

HAP has also advocated for extending regulatory waivers that have supported expanded access to telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Telemedicine testimony, PA House Professional Licensure Committee Hearing

Federal Activity

HAP has supported efforts to expand the use of telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries by addressing both coverage and payment limitations resulting from restrictive statutes and regulations. HAP has applauded Congress and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for identifying particular opportunities to expand Medicare beneficiaries' access to telehealth services, but will continue to engage federal policymakers to make telehealth services more broadly available.

HAP Contacts

For more information, contact Heather Tyler, vice president, state legislative advocacy; or Kate Slatt, vice president, innovative payment and care delivery. Media inquiries should be directed to Liam Migdail, director, media relations.

HAP News

September 23, 2022

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