Pennsylvania State Legislature Vote No on Telehealth Parity Bill

November 2018 ~

Pennsylvania legislators have rejected a proposed legislation that would have established payment parity for telehealth.

Had it been passed, Senate Bill 780 (SB 780) would have defined key components of telemedicine, set clear standards for telehealth provider licensure in Pennsylvania, including by requiring state licensure boards to develop regulations relating to the practice of telehealth. As well as institute standards for telehealth evaluation and treatment and would also require reimbursement for telehealth services at the same rate as in-person care.

Senator Elder Vogel, the bill’s sponsor, could re-introduce the bill again next year and said in a statement, “Telemedicine can help patients get the care they need. It allows for improved access and improved health outcomes in cost- effective ways. Studies show that telemedicine saves time, money, and lives. With the rapidly rising cost of health care, and the fact that it’s nonexistent in some places, the need for telemedicine continues to grow.”

Senate Bill 780 was introduced earlier this year and gained approval from the state Senate in June, but was then rejected by the House in October.

Though it failed to pass the House, the bill continues to receive the support of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) and the AARP, and others in the healthcare industry.

“HAP and the Pennsylvania hospital community will continue to support legislation that defines telemedicine, puts in place key consumer protections to ensure that care is delivered by licensed clinicians, and expands insurance coverage for telemedicine services,” Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) President and CEO Andy Carter announced following the Pennsylvania Legislature’s adjournment.



Source(s): mHealthIntelligence; CNHI News; The Heartland Institute; Center for Telehealth and e-Health Law;