Telemedicine Coalition Expands; Hearing on Bill Set for Tuesday

The Joint Committee on Financial Services, chaired by Rep. Aaron Michlewitz (D-Boston) and Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton), will hold a hearing on HB578/SB549, An Act Advancing and Expanding Access to Telemedicine Services, on Tuesday. The legislation ensures parity in insurance coverage for telemedicine services at the same payment rate as in-person treatment; streamlines the credentialing process for Massachusetts licensed clinicians using telemedicine services within the state; and ensures a uniform and consistent approach that fosters innovation when defining telemedicine services.

Telemedicine is the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients through on-line communication. It improves care and makes it more efficient by giving patients more convenient access to primary care providers and greater access to specialists located outside their geographic area. This can be particularly helpful for hard-to-access services such as behavioral health or surgical consults, and for patients with disabilities and mobility limitations, major distance or time barriers, or transportation limitations.

tMed, the Massachusetts Telemedicine Coalition, of which MHA is a founding member, has been growing since its inception in January and now has 28 members. A complete list of the membership as well as a detailed discussion of the bill that will be heard on Tuesday is here.