Women’s Health Connecticut Petitions for Expanded Telehealth Legislation with Connecticut General Assembly

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly limited access to most non-urgent medical services for all. During this time, Women’s Health Connecticut providers turned to telehealth services to provide safe and effective care to patients. With telehealth, we were able to provide care to 25% of our patients’ non-urgent visits without exposing them or our other patients and medical staff members to the risk of close personal contact.

“Telehealth technology is an incredibly important part of these clinical improvements.  Even when patients have returned to the office, having a telehealth option will be invaluable,” said Dr. Mark DeFrancesco, a member of Women’s Health Connecticut Board of Directors in written testimony to state legislators on the Real Estate and Insurance Committee.

As the state begins to open more fully, Connecticut legislators have drafted a bill for the General Assembly Special Session that will expand the framework of telehealth services and mandate that insurance companies continue to fairly reimburse health care providers for telehealth visits through June 30, 2021, and allow healthcare providers to offer that service on the telehealth platform of their choosing. A number of WHC providers have written testimony to lawmakers to help influence the upcoming vote. (Note that at the time of this article, the bill had passed in the state’s House of Representatives and is set to be debated by the Senate the week of 7/27.)

“Think about a patient who is too ill to come to the office, or who may be a member of a vulnerable group who shouldn’t come to the office, or who may be working and can’t take the time needed to come to the office. In all these cases, a virtual office visit will provide an efficient and smart way to provide care for those patients,” wrote Dr. DeFrancesco. 

To give our patients continued easy access to telehealth services and to help support legislators in passing this telehealth bill, Women’s Health Connecticut would like to understand our patients’ opinions regarding telehealth and how it might have helped you. Please help us by taking a few minutes to follow these survey links to answer some simple questions.