Baker: Senate Bill Expanding Access to Telemedicine Services Heads for Enactment

HARRISBURG – Legislation expanding access to telemedicine in Pennsylvania received final Senate approval today and is set to be signed into law, Sen. Lisa Baker (R-20) said.

Telemedicine allows individuals to access health care services online using a computer, tablet or smartphone. It allows medical services to be provided to some of the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians who otherwise would not be able to receive them due to location or other circumstances.

“For many years now, we have been seeking to expand the availability of telemedicine. For small communities and rural areas, this is a viable and vital solution to the many challenges in securing accessible and affordable health care,” Baker said. “As hospitals close or shutter key services and medical practitioners relocate or retire, there will be more gaps to fill. Telemedicine is the sort of forward-looking advance Pennsylvania must encourage and invest in, financially and operationally.”

Senate Bill 739 sets a base for how telemedicine will be covered by insurance companies and medical providers in Pennsylvania. The legislation:

  • Requires health insurance policies to provide coverage for covered health care services delivered through telemedicine consistent with the insurer’s medical policies.
  • Requires insurers to pay providers for covered health care services delivered through telemedicine consistent with the terms of the contract between the insurer and participating network provider.
  • Requires Medicaid and CHIP programs to pay for covered health care services consistent with federal and state law.

The bill will be sent to the governor for enactment.

Jennifer Wilson

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