Saud Anwar

State Senator

Saud Anwar

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working For You

July 28, 2020

Senator Anwar Glad to Join Senate Passage of Bill Concerning Telehealth Services

Today, the Senate Democratic Caucus passed legislation concerning telehealth services that will provide new tools to doctors and other medical providers in the near future to continue interaction between a patient and telehealth provider and remote patient monitoring. State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor) was pleased to vote to support the legislation.

“Telehealth provides important health care opportunities for everyone, from mental health services to routine checkups,” said Sen. Anwar. “Telehealth calls have even been used to advise patients regarding COVID-19, including whether they should obtain tests or whether they should seek additional care for their conditions. As a physician myself, I’m pleased to see this option will remain available for those who need it, both patients and professionals, through to the middle of next year.”

During the coronavirus crisis in the state, many changes were implemented to keep residents of Connecticut safe including a virtual practice of medicine. The Department of Public Health waived several requirements in order to provide audio and visual communication between providers and patients. Telehealth has played a huge role beginning in the middle of March following the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Providers have been able to perform under federal privacy requirements while providing reliable treatment through these platforms. Teleheath has been proven to be an essential tool during the coronavirus crisis and it will continue to be a tool for doctors and providers to use in the future if needed. If telehealth wasn’t available through the duration of the pandemic, many doctors and health care professionals would have suffered greater financial hardship.

This bill allows telehealth by audio-only, instead of requiring video. It will impact patients of Medicaid, Children’s health insurance program, and in-network providers. It will expand the types of providers who may provide services through telehealth including dentists, behavior analysts, genetic counselors, music therapists, and art therapists, all of which is currently permitted under EO. The bill also allows telehealth services by additional licensed professions; those being physician assistants, physical therapist assistants, and occupational therapy assistants, nurse midwives, athletic trainers.

Furthermore, the telehealth bill allows providers licensed in other states to provide telehealth services to Connecticut residents provided they have minimum professional liability insurance coverage. It requires a provider to determine whether a patient has health insurance coverage and whether such coverage includes telehealth services, before providing the service.

Most of the legislation’s changes will be in place through June 30, 2021.