To get reimbursed for an online healthcare visit, Missouri patients must have audio and video connected during their appointment. Rep. Patty Lewis, D-Kansas City, is proposing to simply require an audio connection.

“There’s many parts of the state, in rural and in urban, that struggle with broadband, strong internet access. Several times, you know, I’ve been on Zooms where my camera doesn’t work,” she told Missourinet. “And if your camera doesn’t work, then it doesn’t qualify as a telehealth visit. You know, you’re not able to get reimbursed or see your provider.”

She said her bill would cover a variety of virtual healthcare services, including for mental health and primary healthcare.

“We have a mental health crisis in our state that has only intensified since the pandemic,” said Lewis. “We also have a health care shortage in the state with health care providers. With mental health, you know, seeing your provider, it can’t wait. Some people have to drive hours to go see their provider.”

To view House Bill 1873, click here.

Rep. Melanie Stinnett, R-Springfield, has filed a similar bill.

The next legislative session begins January 3 in Jefferson City.

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