Senate Unanimously Passes 'Transformational' Telehealth Expansion Bill

Feb 2, 2021

Gov. Eric Holcomb used executive orders during the COVID-19 pandemic to dramatically expand telehealth services.
Credit (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Telehealth services temporarily expanded during the pandemic will be permanently expanded under legislation unanimously approved by the Indiana Senate Tuesday.

Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso), the bill's author, calls those services “transformational.”

In 2019, IU Health had 7,400 telehealth visits. Last year, under expanded opportunities via Gov. Eric Holcomb’s COVID-19 executive orders, IU Health had more than 500,000 visits.

Charbonneau said providing more telehealth opportunities means more quality, affordable and accessible health care.

“There are fewer and fewer cancellations of appointments, fewer and fewer trips to the emergency room,” Charbonneau said.

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Sen. Blake Doriot (R-Goshen) said he uses telehealth a lot for appointments with a back surgeon and a neurologist.

“Telehealth saved me 2,100 miles of driving,” Doriot said.

The bill now heads to the House.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.