Governor Ned Lamont on Monday announced that he has signed into law legislation that extends for another two years the relaxed telehealth services provisions that he previously enacted through an emergency executive order due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Telehealth services are those that enable healthcare providers to interact with patients, including those with Medicaid coverage, by using electronic methods, such as videoconferencing and telephones, without needing to meet in person.
When the pandemic began in March 2020, Governor Lamont immediately recognized the need to encourage the use of telehealth and he issued Executive Order No. 7G, which utilized the emergency authority granted to him in order to temporarily relax certain state laws that regulate these services, thereby enabling more patients to use telehealth. The legislation Governor Lamont signed today, House Bill 5596, allows the relaxed rules enacted through his executive order to remain in place through at least June 30, 2023.
“Throughout the last year, patients across Connecticut have found that connecting with their medical providers through videoconference or telephone has been incredibly beneficial and practical for a wide variety of reasons, so it absolutely makes sense to allow for these services to continue,” Governor Lamont said. “Making it easier for people to connect with their doctors or medical advisors is a goal that we should strive to attain. I appreciate the state legislature for recognizing the benefits of the emergency executive order that I signed at the beginning of the pandemic, and I appreciate their bipartisan cooperation in passing this legislation so that I could sign this into law today and these relaxed telehealth rules can continue.”
The extended services include:
- Allows expanded types of providers and licensed professions to provide telehealth services, such as dentists, behavioral analysists, music therapists, art therapists, physician assistants, physical therapist assistants, and occupational therapy assistants;
- Permits the use of telehealth services by audio-only without requiring video; and
- Permits licensed providers in other states to provide telehealth services to Connecticut residents as long as they have the minimum professional liability insurance coverage.