Update on Telehealth in Pennsylvania

In October, the state Senate passed SB 705 authorizing the regulation of telemedicine by professional licensing boards and providing for insurance coverage of telemedicine. Sponsored by Senator Vogel, SB 705 is now with the House of Representatives for their consideration. The bill has language that was in the previous version of the bill that led to Governor Wolf vetoing the bill last session. PACHC is not aware that any progress has been made between the House of Representatives and the Governor’s office to address the issues from last session. At this time, the House is not expected to act on this legislation. This creates a conundrum when reviewing the OMAP Telehealth Bulletin, which notes that telehealth is allowed “if permitted according to their scope of practice, licensure, or certification.” Nothing in the practice acts “permits” telehealth. The current waiver allowing for telehealth expires on March 31, 2022. There have been rumors of a possible extension of some of the waivers, such as telehealth, beyond the March 31 deadline. PACHC is working with the legislature and the administration, along with other provider groups, to try and get clarification on the future of telehealth amidst these political issues.