Becker’s plan to broaden telemedicine unanimously endorsed by Senate

Today the Senate voted unanimously in support of Sen. Randi Becker’s legislation that would establish a telemedicine collaborative focused on guidance, research and best practices and expand the reimbursement for health-care services.

“I’ve been saying for years that telemedicine is the wave of the future, but I’m here to say the future is now. There are patients all over Washington but particularly in rural areas of our state who would benefit as a result of this measure. Technology continues move ahead and we need to move with it,” said Becker, chair of the Senate Health Care Committee.

Telemedicine is currently practiced by a number of health-care specialists, but reimbursement uncertainty has hampered its growth. The bill gives a platform for experts from the academic community, health-care providers and other stakeholders interested in telehealth to share best practices of this emerging technology; it also would address provider payment.

Senate Bill 6519 now moves to the House of Representatives for its consideration during the 2016 session.