Norm Needleman


Norm Needleman



May 6, 2021

Legislation Extending Telehealth Services for Connecticut Residents Approved by Senate

State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex) early this morning joined the Senate to vote 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 of great benefit to 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, passing the Senate unanimously, and now heads to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

“Telehealth’s use and adoption was growing before the COVID-19 pandemic, and its effectiveness at helping doctors and patients continue health care services makes it starkly apparent how important the technology truly is,” said Sen. Needleman. “Voting to extend telehealth services for the next two years is something I’m proud of, as it will provide direct benefits to countless state residents through the end of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. It means those concerned about their health can receive continued services in the manner that’s best for them. That’s exactly how public health policies should work.”

Under House Bill 5596, “An Concerning Telehealth,” telehealth services temporarily expanded by a bill led by Democrats last summer would be extended until June 30, 2023.

These services extended include:

  • Expanded types of providers and licensed professions that can provide telehealth services including: dentists, behavior analysts, music therapists, art therapists, physician assistants, physical therapist assistants, and occupational therapy assistants
  • Allow telehealth by audio-only without requiring video
  • Licensed providers in other states allowed to provide telehealth services to Connecticut residents as long as they have minimum professional liability insurance coverage

Additionally, a provider has to determine if the patient has health insurance coverage. If yes, then has to find out if the coverage includes telehealth prior to offering health services by that means.

Also, physicians and advanced practice registered nurses may use telehealth services to issue a written certification to qualifying patients for medical marijuana.

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.