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Telehealth measure heads to governor

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The General Assembly approved a measure aimed at expanding access to healthcare through telehealth medicine. HB 140, sponsored by Rep. Deanna Frazier, R-Richmond, would codify current COVID-related telehealth provisions in statute, ensuring Kentuckians have continued access to medical care, according to a news release from the Kentucky House Majority Caucus. 

“The utilization of telehealth has been an important component in addressing the spread of COVID-19. Both patients and providers alike agree that the utilization of telehealth has allowed for timely, flexible, and efficient care. We know this is an effective tool in bringing healthcare to every corner of the commonwealth and I hope it will continue,” Frazier said.

As defined in HB 140, telehealth means a mode of delivering healthcare services through the use of telecommunication technologies, including but not limited to synchronous and asynchronous technology, remote patient monitoring technology, and audio-only encounters by a health care provider to a patient or to another health care provider at a different location.

The legislation is a continuation of the provisions included in SB 150, which was passed during the 2020 Legislative Session. SB 150 was an integral part of the General Assembly’s response to the COVID outbreak. The bill temporarily relaxed telehealth regulations, which opened the door for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to expand telehealth services. 

In 2018, Kentucky passed what has been called one of the most progressive telehealth laws in the country, and HB 140, if signed into law, would build upon that progress.

HB 140 will now move to the governor’s desk for consideration.