News Release: PA Senate Approves Telemedicine Legislation
June 13, 2018
The Pennsylvania Senate today took a major step in helping expand access to telemedicine across the commonwealth.
The Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 780, sponsored by Senator Elder Vogel (R-Beaver). This legislation defines telemedicine, ensures that consumers get care from qualified practitioners, and makes certain that Pennsylvania’s diverse insurance community covers telemedicine consistently.
The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP)—alongside the Pennsylvania Medical Society—strongly supports telemedicine as a tool to deliver convenient, high-quality primary and specialty care, while helping patients save time and money.
Hospitals across the commonwealth are using telemedicine for preventive care, chronic condition management, and for high-demand specialty services, such as 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.
“Telemedicine is yet another example of the ways that Pennsylvania’s hospital community is investing in technology to provide patients with new options to get the right care, in the right place, at the right time. Telemedicine is reducing costs and helping providers collaborate to deliver life-saving care when seconds matter,” said HAP President and CEO Andy Carter.
“Senate Bill 780 ensures that the insurance community treats telemedicine services the same as in-person services—a great step in expanding access to care. We thank Senator Vogel for his tremendous work on this legislation and greatly appreciate the efforts of Senate staff to engage all key stakeholders on this issue. We encourage the House of Representatives to advance this bill and make Pennsylvania a telemedicine-friendly state.”
Senate Bill 780 awaits consideration by the House of Representatives.