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American Telemedicine Association: Policy Halftime Report As State Legislators Head Into Summer Recess


 

As most state legislators head into summer recess, the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) reflects on a very active first half of the year, which saw all 50 state legislatures introducing new or updated telehealth bills.

"Following the significant uptick in telehealth utilization during the COVID-19 pandemic, we were anticipating a very active legislative session, and we were not disappointed. In fact, the first half of the year has been tremendously successful for telehealth advocates," said Ann Mond Johnson, CEO of the ATA. "I'm proud of what our members and industry stakeholders have been able to accomplish to ensure telehealth becomes a permanent care modality at the conclusion of the public health emergency."

2021 State Telehealth Policy Milestones:

  • Over 1,000 telehealth-related bills have been introduced in all 50 state legislatures.
  • The ATA has submitted over 80 formal comment letters and has been engaged in 41 states.
  • The ATA has given official testimony, in person or virtually, at legislative committees in 13 states.
  • In many high-priority states (such as AR, CA, NY, and TX), the ATA has engaged with legislators, stakeholders, and our members, helping shepherd good legislation across the finish line and suppressing unfavorable legislation before it could gain momentum. Of the bills the ATA has weighed in on:
    • Twenty-three positive bills have been passed into law;
    • Several other positive bills have momentum and stand a high chance of passing;
    • Seven unfavorable bills that would have set telehealth back have been defeated.

The ATA's state legislative map provides a snapshot of key successes as well as pending telehealth legislation. "Overall, this is a very positive picture of our collective successes in key states across the country," added Mond Johnson. "We will not take our foot off the gas and will continue to work hard to keep the momentum going to make sure more positive bills are signed into law."

 
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