An opportunity to expand telemedicine: Support SB 6519

February 9, 2016

Washington State has a significant opportunity to expand services delivered through telemedicine with Senate Bill 6519. This year’s bill, sponsored by Senator Becker, seeks to allow patients to have virtual provider visits in their homes starting in January 2018. WSHA strongly supports this bill and testified last week. We are working with Senator Becker to refine the bill. The bill would also create a collaborative that would meet over the next two years to recommend to the legislature other advancements in telemedicine and telehealth.

While our state made crucial steps forward with last year’s telemedicine law, the recognition of providing care outside of traditional health care institutions (e.g. the home or other appropriate setting) will make substantial improvements in flexibility for patient care delivery. This bill would help ensure that patients are getting the crucial care they need, especially for chronic diseases and follow up visits. The bill passed out of the Senate Health Care Committee last week and we hope it will soon be headed to the Senate floor.

For more information, contact Chelene Whiteaker. (206/216-2545).


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