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PA Hospitals Support House Bill on Telemedicine

July 10, 2017

On Friday, Representative Marguerite Quinn (R-Bucks) introduced a top priority for the hospital community, House Bill 1648. Like Senate Bill 780, introduced last month by Senator Vogel (R-Beaver), HB 1648 defines the key components of telemedicine, sets licensing requirements, and requires health insurers to provide reimbursement for telemedicine services if they pay for the same service in person.

“HB 1648 and its Senate companion, SB 780, reflect the tireless efforts of Representative Quinn and Senator Vogel to work with hospitals, physicians, and other stakeholders to ensure that Pennsylvania’s insurance system supports the use of the very best technology in the delivery of patient care,” said Andy Carter, HAP President and CEO. “These bills will make sure that technology provides even greater access to quality care no matter where a patient lives in the commonwealth.”

Telemedicine—or telehealth—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 telehealth.

HAP supports the use of telemedicine in hospitals to improve health care access and help hospitals continue to improve the delivery of care at the right time and place for patients. Pennsylvania hospitals urge the legislature to continue to move this important piece of legislation through the process.

During the 2015–2016 legislative session, Representative Quinn and Senator Vogel introduced similar telemedicine legislation (House Bill 2267 and Senate Bill 1342).

For more information, contact HAP’s Scott Bishop, senior vice president, legislative advocacy, or Stephanie Watkins, vice president, state legislative advocacy.

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