[r75] Telehealth bill signed into law (5/8/2013)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Start Date: 5/8/2013 All Day
STATEHOUSE - Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 554, sponsored by State Representative Ron Bacon (R-Chandler), was signed into law by the governor today.  SEA 554 addresses telehealth, which refers to patient monitoring in the home by a health care provider from a distance.

“I was very pleased to see this bill receive so much support in both chambers this session,” said Rep. Bacon. “As a healthcare professional and a member of the Committee on Public Health, this issue was very important to me. I worked very closely with the Senate on carrying this bill and believe it will benefit Hoosiers all over the state.”

The bill will require the office of Medicaid Policy and Planning to reimburse home health agencies, rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers for doing medical consultations, diagnoses and monitoring using videoconferencing, telephones or computers. 

The shortage of physicians and psychiatrists is a limiting factor on patients’ access to care, especially in rural areas. Telehealth and telemedicine services allow physicians and psychiatrists to care for their patients without having those patients travel to receive them. Physicians save precious time and money by not needing to visit patients in their homes.

“St. Francis Health has done this for a while and has noticed significant savings. Specifically for congestive heart failure, there is normally a one in four readmittance rate, but with telehealth, there is a one in twenty readmittance rate. Reducing the readmission rate means that patients are having healthier outcomes, and the process is less costly,” said Rep. Bacon. 

For more information regarding SEA 554, please visit www.in.gov/legislative. 

Bacon NR_SEA 554 Gov Signing.docx