Senate Health Committee Hears WHA Telehealth Bill

October 15, 2019

WHA members and staff appeared in front of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services on Oct. 9 to speak in favor of Senate Bill 380, telehealth modernization legislation spurred by WHA’s Telemedicine Work Group.

As previously covered in The Valued Voice, the legislation includes four main recommendations from WHA’s Telemedicine Work Group:
  • Reimburse telehealth the same as in-person care when the quality of the care provided is functionally equivalent.
  • Catch up to Medicare in the number of telehealth-related services that are covered.
  • Cover in-home or community services.
  • Increase access to behavioral health.
WHA Director of Federal and State Relations Jon Hoelter joined Chris Meyer, director of virtual care at Marshfield Clinic; Shana Kettunen, director of business development and telemedicine for Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) Eastern Wisconsin Division; and Dr. Thomas Brazelton and Rachel Zorn from UW Health. The group discussed the various ways Wisconsin hospitals and health systems are using telehealth to provide more efficient care to Wisconsinites, as well as how the legislation would help remove barriers currently preventing expansion of telehealth services for our state’s Medicaid population. In addition to WHA members, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and a number of other groups and private citizens spoke in support of the legislation. No organizations at the hearing expressed opposition.

WHA is urging both the Assembly Committee on Medicaid Reform and Oversight and the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services to promptly hold votes on the legislation so it can be scheduled for a vote in the full Assembly and Senate chambers.

Contact Jon Hoelter or WHA General Counsel Matthew Stanford with questions.

This story originally appeared in the October 15, 2019 edition of WHA Newsletter