Telemedicine is a process by which medical services are provided via live video with doctors and patients in different places. Supporters argue that the growing field lowers costs and helps patients who cannot easily travel.
(TNS) — Pennsylvania State Sen. Elder Vogel Jr.'s telemedicine bill has again passed the Senate after it stalled in the House last year.
Vogel, R-47, New Sewickley Township, introduced House Bill 857 on Sept. 19 and it passed the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, on which Vogel sits, 13-1 on Oct. 28. It passed the Senate 47-1 on Oct. 30 and goes to the House for consideration.
Telemedicine is the process by which medical services are provided through live video with physicians and patients in different locations. Vogel and other supporters have argued that the growing field lowers costs and helps patients who cannot easily travel to see physicians, especially those in rural areas far from hospitals.
Vogel's bill defines telemedicine, establishes guidelines about who can provide such services and clarifies insurance company reimbursement.
"Telemedicine can help patients get the care they need. It allows for improved access and improved health outcomes in cost-effective ways," Vogel said in a statement. "Studies show that telemedicine saves time, money and lives. With the rapidly rising cost of healthcare, and the fact that it is nonexistent in some places, the need for telemedicine continues to grow."
Vogel's statement said that while the bill would change the healthcare industry, physicians and healthcare practitioners would still have to follow the same licensing and medical practice laws and requirements in Pennsylvania.
In the previous legislative session, Vogel also introduced a bill on telemedicine. It was unanimously passed by the Senate in June 2018, but never received in a floor vote in the House.
State Sen. Camera Bartolotta, R-46, Carroll Township, Washington County, was a co-sponsor on that bill and has co-sponsored the latest bill, too.
©2019 the Beaver County Times (Beaver, Pa.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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