Press Release November 7, 2019
For Immediate Release
Bipartisan Telehealth Legislation Heads to Governor
Madison- This week, Senate Bill 380 authored by Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton), Sen. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield), Rep. Deb Kolste (D-Janesville) and Sen. Janet Bewley (D-Mason) passed both the State Senate and the State Assembly. The bill now awaits action by Governor Tony Evers.
Senate Bill 380 (SB-380) aims to improve access to telehealth services for Medicaid recipients. The Wisconsin Hospital Association defines telehealth as the delivery of health care services remotely by means of telecommunications technology. It can help to improve access to health care services by allowing patients to receive care locally in their communities by connecting to providers in other locations. Common examples of telehealth include virtual office visits, telestroke services, remote patient monitoring, and remote evaluation of patient information.
“Telehealth is increasingly being utilized to improve access to essential care, but state laws are not keeping pace with advances in technology. Medicaid recipients and providers are currently unable to leverage telehealth’s true potential and we want to change that,” said Rep. Loudenbeck.
“Expanding access to telehealth services promotes healthcare equity in Wisconsin. We are removing several barriers that prevent patients from accessing care,” said Rep. Kolste
“A growing body of evidence suggests that you can expand access to telehealth without increasing costs. This is because telehealth is not adding a new type of health care service; rather, it is a different way to access health care services that are already available,” said Sen. Kooyenga.
“I am honored to have had this opportunity to work with my colleagues, industry stakeholders and the Department of Health Services on bi-partisan legislation that will increase access to our state’s high-quality care in a cost-effective manner,” said Sen. Bewley.