Governor Brown Signs Telehealth Advancement Act Proposed by California Telehealth Leaders

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct 11, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 415, the Telehealth Advancement Act of 2011, Friday opening the door for far-reaching expansion of telehealth services in California. Authored by Assembly Member Dan Logue (R-Chico), who recognizes the importance of telehealth in providing access to health care, this bill was supported by the state's telehealth stakeholders and leaders and passed with no opposing votes in the legislature.

A significant advancement for the implementation of telehealth in California and an important update to California's 1996 Telemedicine Development Act, the new bill enables health care providers to better provide care for Californians especially in rural and underserved areas of the state. The act allows for:

The provision of a broader range of telehealth services The expansion of telehealth providers to include all licensed healthcare professionals The expansion of telehealth care settings The ability for California hospitals to establish medical credentials for telehealth providers more easily

The California State Rural Health Association (CSRHA), sponsor of the bill, worked in collaboration with the Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP), the California Telemedicine and eHealth Center (CTEC), the California Telehealth Network (CTN) and many other health care organizations in the state, including the CCHP Telehealth Model Statute Work Group, to make crucial recommendations for the new bill.

"California has long been a national leader in the adoption and development of telehealth, and we are pleased that Governor Brown and Assemblyman Logue have acknowledged the incredible opportunity we have to revolutionize access to healthcare in our state," said Christine Martin, Executive Director of CTEC. "This new act enables healthcare providers to take better advantage of telehealth technology for preventative and specialized care that will save and enhance the lives of many Californians."

California Telehealth Network President and CEO, Eric Brown, also shared his excitement of the bill's passage and emphasized that "The passage of the Telehealth Advancement Act is vital for reaching patients in areas of the state that do not have access to the care they need."

"This legislation is vitally important not only for those that live in rural California, but all Californians," stated Steve Barrow, Executive Director of CSRHA. "Forcing people to wait for specialty care or making them leave home for long trips to get care is not necessary in modern times, with the new emerging technology and communications available today."

Telemedicine expert and CTEC Executive Director, Christine Martin, is available for comment on the new bill. Interested media should contact Martin directly at 916-341-3373 or via email at [email protected]

ABOUT CTEC:

With more than 15 years telehealth experience, CTEC is one of the country's leading resources for telehealth education, expertise, and implementation guidance. A federally designated Telehealth Resource Center, CTEC is the go-to source for unbiased information, serving healthcare providers, health systems, clinics and government agencies. Working to make telehealth services widely available, CTEC creates systems that make people healthier, increase access to care, improve patient outcomes, drive down healthcare costs, and sustain a reduced-carbon economy. For more information on CTEC, please visit www.cteconline.org .

SOURCE: California Telemedicine and eHealth Center

        
        CTEC 
        Christine Martin, 916-341-3373 
        [email protected] 
        Megan Shull, 916-341-3373 
        [email protected]

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