New law will improve health care access for older adults and their family caregivers
Governor Tom Wolf’s signature on legislation that will allow licensed physicians in one state to treat patients in other states via telehealth technologies was praised today by AARP Pennsylvania.
The enactment of HB 1619 makes Pennsylvania the 18 th state to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which encourages physicians to provide care both in-person or through telehealth technologies in multiple states. The legislation was sponsored by Rep. Jesse Topper (R-78).
AARP Pennsylvania State Director Bill Johnston-Walsh said improving the availability of telehealth services is especially important in Pennsylvania, which includes both the nation’s third-largest rural population and fourth-oldest population.
“This new law will help older adults and those living in rural or underserved areas use telehealth technologies to access an expanded network of physicians when those providers are unavailable in their area or when getting out of the house is difficult,” he said.
Johnston-Walsh added the new law will also greatly benefit Pennsylvania’s 1.6 million family caregivers.
“Approval of HB 1619 will help older adults remain at home longer by providing access to home and community-based services (HCBS) in new ways, making it easier for family caregivers to provide care for their loved ones,” he said. “Broader adoption of telehealth technologies holds tremendous promise for older Pennsylvanians and their family caregivers.”