March 19, 2021

Telehealth Legislation Passes Public Health Committee, Sent to House, Senate

Today, crucial legislation that could lead to future expansions of availability, service and effectiveness of telehealth services passed the Public Health Committee unanimously, receiving favorable reception and progressing to the House and Senate floors for further debate and potential approval. State Senator Will Haskell (D-Westport) was highly supportive of the Committee’s vote and pledged to support the legislation, noting the significant benefits of telehealth access expansion.

“Over the last year, our community has come to understand the critical importance of telehealth services,” said Sen. Haskell. “Extending coverage for telehealth will ensure that patients have the option to seek out healthcare in a manner that is convenient and safe. I was proud to cast my vote today, because I believe we need more options when it comes to healthcare, not fewer.”

House Bill 5596, “An Act Concerning Telehealth,” would task the Department of Public Health to study the benefits and implications of expanding telehealth services in the state, reporting its findings to the General Assembly by the end of 2021. Findings from such studies would likely influence future adoption, availability and other factors involving the technology’s availability.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic required remote health care visits, telehealth widely expanded, with physicians’ adoption of it increasing 340 percent between 2015 and 2018. Its benefits include expansion of health access for some populations, reduced health care costs and time savings and increased convenience. These factors will benefit patients and physicians alike with increased widespread adoption of the technology.