Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Bill Would Hold On To Telehealth Changes Made During Pandemic

Montana lawmakers were today briefed on a bill that would permanently roll back telehealth restrictions temporarily suspended during the coronavirus emergency.

Jackie Jones with the state auditor’s office said there’s a silver lining to the pandemic.

“We were forced to use technologies in ways that we maybe thought we weren’t ready for, and it turns out that we were,” Jones said.

Jones said an emergency waiver spurred by the pandemic guarantees state, group and student health insurance plans cover telehealth services. House Bill 43, requested by the auditor’s office, would continue that practice and some others beyond the pandemic.

Republican State Auditor Troy Downing said telehealth is particularly useful for seniors, veterans and those with mobility issues in rural communities.

More than 20 advocacy groups and health care organizations supported the bill during Thursday’s House Human Services Committee hearing. There weren’t any opponents.

The committee hasn’t yet taken action on House Bill 43.