Joan Hartley

State Senator

Joan Hartley

Chief Deputy President Pro Tempore

An Independent Voice

May 6, 2021

Sen. Hartley Supports Legislation Extending Telehealth Services for Connecticut Residents

State Senator Joan Hartley (D-Waterbury) voted for legislation extending telehealth services in Connecticut for another two years. This extension allows health care providers and patients to have continued flexibility utilizing a tool that continues to be great benefit for Connecticut residents seeking health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill approved in a bipartisan vote in both the state Senate and state House of Representatives now heads to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

“Telehealth is a revolutionary tool that has made health care more accessible to people. The benefits of this tool have been evident throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Connecticut residents have been able to continue meeting with their health care providers, while taking precautions to protect their health during the pandemic,” said Sen. Hartley. “The continuation of expanded telehealth services will provide people certainty that these services remain available in addressing their health care needs.”

Under House Bill 5596, “An Concerning Telehealth,” telehealth and expanded telehealth services would be extended until June 30, 2023.

The extended services include:

  • Expansion of licensed professional’s telehealth services including: dentists, behavior analysts, music therapists, art therapists, physician assistants, physical therapist assistants, and occupational therapy assistants
  • Audio only telehealth services without requiring video
  • Out-of-State Licensed provider telehealth services to Connecticut residents as long as they have minimum professional liability insurance
  • Telehealth refers to the virtual method of providers delivering health care and other health services to patients through communication and information technologies. Telehealth has helped facilitate the providing of numerous health care needs including, but not limited to: diagnosis, consultation and treatment, and self-management of a patient’s mental and physical health.

This virtual practicing of medicine continues to be a critical tool in connecting state residents with health care and related services during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth has enabled people to be able to meet with their providers from the safety and comfort of their home, while secure in the knowledge their medical privacy remains upheld due to federal privacy requirements when receiving treatment through audio and visual communication platforms. In addition, the remote interaction works to lower the spread of COVID-19 by removing the need for close physical interaction between the patient and provider.