Gov. Wolf Signs Two Bills into Law, Vetoes Flawed Telemedicine Bill, Releases Cross-Agency Guidance for Telehealth
April 29, 2020
Governor Tom Wolf today signed into law two bills: House Bill 1869 allows for National Guard members called to active duty to be covered under the Heart and Lung Act if they contract COVID-19 while performing their duties, and House Bill 752 provides for the Game Commission to pay a fair market value for land in Allegheny County.
Gov. Wolf also vetoed Senate Bill 857, a telemedicine bill that passed the Senate unanimously last year before being amended to an untenable version in the House.
“I supported a prior printer’s number of the bill, but as amended in the House of Representatives, this legislation arbitrarily restricts the use of telemedicine for certain doctor-patient interactions,” Gov. Wolf said. “As amended, this bill interferes with women’s health care and the crucial decision-making between patients and their physicians.”
In addition to the telemedicine bill veto, the governor released cross-agency guidance on telehealth, citing its importance as a health care delivery option during COVID-19 and as providing it pertains to his authority under the Disaster Declaration signed in early March.
Given the potential for widespread transmission of COVID-19 across Pennsylvania and to limit its spread, many health care providers and patients are expanding use of telehealth rather than in-person health care services.
Today, the governor announced cross-agency guidance on steps taken to ensure that patients in need of vital health care services are receiving them in a timely, appropriate manner. Multiple state agencies are involved in providing expanded telehealth services, including the departments of State, Health, Drug and Alcohol Programs, Human Services and the Insurance Department.
- Expanded Role of Providers
- Expanding Reimbursement for Telehealth Services
- Telehealth for Infant Toddler Early Intervention Procedures
- Telehealth for Behavioral Health
- Telehealth for Substance Use Disorder Treatment