The Missouri House of Representatives is getting to work on a bill that would loosen restrictions on how online healthcare is provided. To get reimbursed for an online healthcare visit, Missouri patients are currently required to have audio and video connected during their appointment.

Rep. Melanie Stinnett, R-Springfield, wants to make telehealth easier for residents who are getting a check-up. She wants to simply require an audio connection during the online visit.

“So the telehealth bill actually takes a look at the audio only options for telehealth and puts that in statute so that we are ensuring that individuals that maybe don’t have great high-speed internet access yet or have challenges with that kind of mode can still use that audio-only version,” she said. “That’s a really important thing for a lot of our seniors that maybe they have internet, but they find it difficult to navigate technology or individuals in our rural communities that high-speed internet can be a barrier still.”

Stinnett’s bill also includes a provision that prevents restricting which platform telehealth can be used.

“We can’t really narrow the type of telehealth platform that’s used,” Stinnett said. “So we want people to have choice and access to whatever’s available to them. So, a provider likely will try to utilize a HIPAA compliant video platform if they’re doing something that could have a video component available, but it could just be by phone.”

Her bill has been referred to the House Healthcare Reform committee, which could hear her bill sometime soon.

Click here for more information on House Bill 1907.

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