RICHLAND CENTER, WISCONSIN – AARP Wisconsin volunteer advocates were thrilled to stand alongside Governor Evers today as he signed bipartisan legislation – Senate Bill 380, now 2019 Wisconsin Act 56 – into law.
The new law will increase Wisconsin residents’ access to health care professionals through the use of telehealth services. It will improve Medicaid coverage of telehealth services by requiring Medicaid to treat telehealth the same as in-person services in terms of coverage for patients and reimbursements for providers. It will also allow Medicaid patients to receive telehealth directly in their homes or other non-clinical settings.
“This is a great day for health care delivery in Wisconsin, said AARP Wisconsin state issues advocacy director Helen Marks Dicks. “Many of AARP’s 840,000 members in Wisconsin will benefit from this expanded availability of telehealth – particularly those in isolated and rural areas who have limited transportation options and limited access to health care providers.
“Health care monitoring via telehealth provides efficient and timely care through face-to-face discussion with the provider. Patients can benefit from access to additional telehealth services such as mental health, health education programs and post-hospital discharge follow-up and monitoring,” Dicks said.
AARP Wisconsin, which testified in favor of the legislation at two public hearings earlier this year, agrees with Governor Evers that all Wisconsin residents deserve access to quality health care, regardless of where they live in the state. “That is why it’s so critically important to use technology to get people connected to the care they need,” Dicks said.