October 26, 2021
State senators today approved legislation supported by HAP that aims to expand patient access to telehealth services. The measure—Senate Bill 705—will now be considered by the state House.
The bill 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.
Telehealth was already on the rise before the COVID-19 pandemic as a more convenient option for patients to receive routine care. But the pandemic brought about a major expansion of telehealth services as providers quickly adapted to be able to care for patients remotely.
Greater patient access to telehealth has been due in part to emergency regulatory waivers that allowed the health care community to meet the unique challenges of the pandemic. Those waivers have been extended through the end of March. Senate Bill 705 would make those flexibilities related to telehealth permanent, continuing access to an option patients increasingly demand.
HAP will continue to advocate for this important legislation as it is considered by the House. For more information, contact Laura Stevens Kent, senior vice president, advocacy and external affairs; or Heather Tyler, vice president, state legislative advocacy.
Tags: Access to Care | Public Health | Telehealth | PA Senate
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