Telemedicine Bill Passes Senate, On Governor’s Desk

Legislation that would allow eligible licensed physicians in one state to treat patients in other states via telemedicine was unanimously approved by the Senate and sent to the governor for his signature, according to Senator Tom Killion (R-9).

Killion sponsored similar legislation in the Senate to promote the use of telemedicine as a way to expand Pennsylvanians access to specialized care, save time and costs and improve health care outcomes.

“Telemedicine can be used to connect to a specialists at a distance, deliver life-saving care and provide routine care in a cost-effective manner,” Killion said.  “It is the wave of the future in health care, and something our state should embrace and encourage.”

The legislation’s approval was praised by AARP Pennsylvania which views telehealth as an effective tool to improve access to health and home and community-based services (HCBS) for older adults and their family caregivers.

“Pennsylvania is home to both the nation’s third-largest rural population and the fourth-oldest population,” said AARP Pennsylvania State Director Bill Johnston-Walsh. “This legislation will help older adults and those living in rural or underserved areas use telehealth technologies to access an expanded network of health care providers and specialists.”

“Sen. Killion’s strong support for House Bill 1619 is a key reason this bill passed the Senate, and it reflects his longstanding record of pressing for swift legislative action on critically important health care issues,” said HAP President and CEO Andy Carter. “What seems like a simple agreement on paper will impact the lives of many Pennsylvanians by increasing access to high-quality health care services and specialists.

“I appreciated the opportunity to team up with Representative Jesse Topper, who introduced House Bill 1619, which would permit Pennsylvania to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which has been spearheaded by the Federation of State Medical Boards,” Killion said.

“Joining the compact would increase medical access for our seniors and for those Pennsylvanians who live in underserved areas, connecting individuals with serious illnesses to specialists in the field,” Killion added.  “The Compact not only makes it easier for physicians to obtain licenses to practice in multiple states but also strengthens public protections by enhancing the ability of states to share investigative and disciplinary information.”

Currently, 17 states have opted into the compact.

CONTACT: Krista Hair – Senator Killion (717) 787-4712