Legislators Support Expansion of Telehealth Services
US Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) was the honorary co-host at a telehealth workshop with the Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center at the University of Hawai‘i John A. Burns School of Medicine on Thursday, Jan. 7.
The workshop was part of Sen. Schatz’s efforts to promote the adoption and expansion of telehealth technology nationwide, and to highlight his upcoming legislation regarding reimbursement for telehealth services in Medicare.
“Right now, many across our state and country choose to not visit a doctor because they live in rural areas without easy access to medical care,” said Sen. Schatz. “But telehealth technology can bridge that gap by allowing doctors to meet with patients over the Internet. This breakthrough can help provide high-quality health care to those in need and reduce costs for the patient and the provider.”
State Sen. Rosalyn Baker, author of the Telehealth Parity Bill that was signed into law in 2014, attended the workshop and praised Sen. Schatz’s commitment and support for telehealth. Sen. Baker discussed her initiatives to address stakeholder concerns regarding reimbursement, malpractice and health disparities.
During the workshop, Sen. Schatz challenged participants to work together to solve the complex issues involved in delivering telehealth care securely and conveniently .
State Sen. Josh Green, state Rep. Della Au Belatti, Dean of the John A. Burns School of Medicine Dr. Jerris Hedges and Hawai‘i Director of Health Dr. Virginia Pressler also attended the workshop along with a wide range of healthcare providers, organizations, payers and advocates.