Telemedicine: Expert Medical Care at Your Fingertips No Matter Where You Live

Just as technology has transformed the way we communicate, it is changing the way Pennsylvanians receive health care. Through telemedicine, which uses electronic communication—including two-way video, smartphones, and wireless tools—medical providers can deliver high-quality health care to patients at the right time, at the right place. 

Telemedicine not only can save you time, but it could save a life by bringing top-notch medical treatment right into your home or local hospital during a medical emergency.  

Increasing numbers of hospitals and other medical providers want to expand their use of telemedicine, but they face one big obstacle. In Pennsylvania, insurers can choose not to reimburse health care providers if they use telemedicine services. Some insurers reimburse providers and some do not, which means some people can get telemedicine services and others cannot.

Payment by insurers should not depend on whether your medical care is provided in the doctor’s office or your living room.

Senate Bill 857, sponsored by state Senator Elder Vogel (R-Beaver), prevents insurers from prohibiting reimbursement for a service solely because it was provided via telemedicine.

This bill would allow you to access world-class medical care more quickly and easily, regardless of where you live. Telemedicine can:

  • Save rural Pennsylvania residents the time and cost of lengthy trips for medical treatment
  • Deliver lifesaving care remotely to a patient in a small neighborhood hospital 
  • Help with in-home medical monitoring 
  • Ease a shortage of medical providers in many areas of the state, especially those delivering primary care and behavioral health services 

The bill is in the House Insurance Committee. Please call your state representative and ask him or her to support the bill with no changes.