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Reps. Liston and Patton introduce legislation to cover telehealth in times of crisis

House Bill 580 ensures Ohioans safely receive the care they need
March 25, 2020
Democrat Newsroom

COLUMBUS- State Reps. Dr. Beth Liston (D-Dublin) and Thomas Patton (R-Strongsville) today introduced House Bill (HB) 580 to guarantee that health providers receive equivalent re-imbursement for covered services, regardless of whether they are conducted in person or remotely, during times of crisis. HB 580 will ensure that people get the care they need, while still maintaining safety for both the patient and the provider.

“It is critical that people in Ohio continue to have access to health care and mental health services during this crisis,” Liston said. “Right now, many providers are using telehealth to keep their patients safe.  People shouldn’t have to worry about whether this method of health care delivery is covered by their insurance.”

“I am proud to have been a part of multiple efforts to push for telemedicine in our state,” said Patton. “Because of the investments we’ve made previously, and with this bill, it has made our state more prepared and ready to deal with this health crisis.”

The proposed legislation will not expand coverage, but rather allows telehealth services to replace more traditional healthcare delivery – only during a public health emergency. Last year, in HB 166, the Ohio General Assembly enacted a provision requiring health plans to cover telehealth options.  However, that law only impacts plans issued after Jan. 2021.  In addition, the current emergency will require many services, including mental health and counseling, to be conducted remotely.

The Ohio House of Representatives is scheduled to convene todayfor the first time since the State of Emergency was declared.