Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Telehealth Sent to Governor

Contact Name: Sara Persechino

Phone: (603) 271-3479

Email: Sara.Persechino@leg.state.nh.us

CONCORD - Today, HB 1623 was delivered to the Secretary of State. The bipartisan omnibus legislation seeks to ensure coverage and reimbursement for health care services provided through telemedicine on the same basis as services provided in person. It next goes to the governor’s desk where he will have five business days to sign, veto, or allow the bill to become law without his signature.

Senator Tom Sherman (D-Rye) and Senator Jay Kahn (D-Keene) issued the following statements in response:

“Across the country, we are seeing significant spikes in positive cases of COVID-19,” stated Senator Tom Sherman (D-Rye). “From the beginning of this pandemic we have predicted a second wave, possibly more severe than the first. The expansion of telehealth in our rural and vulnerable communities has been instrumental in combating the impacts of COVID-19 across New Hampshire thus far and its importance will only continue to grow. Giving both patients and providers the ability to diagnose and address problems early on in a remote setting improves public health and welfare while saving the state substantial long-term medical costs. HB 1623 has been a bipartisan effort, and I look forward to the governor’s signature.”

“The importance of telemedicine for our health and mental health care providers and their patients throughout this pandemic cannot be understated,” added Senator Jay Kahn (D-Keene). “As a Legislature, the expansion of broadband, and in turn expanded access to telehealth has been a bipartisan priority. Even as in-office visits resume, it is abundantly clear that telemedicine has been integral in providing timely and efficient access to diagnosis and treatment, particularly in our rural communities. As we look ahead towards September and the beginning of the school year, we must recognize the critical role telemedicine has for providing medically necessary services to children in schools or, during remote learning, in their homes. A stakeholder commission will provide on-going review of evidence-based practices and improvements needed in the future. HB 1623 is timely, bipartisan legislation that deserves the Governor’s signature. ”

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