Ohio Senate Passes Permanent Telehealth Reform | Citizens Against Government Waste

Ohio Senate Passes Permanent Telehealth Reform

The WasteWatcher

The Ohio Senate has passed legislation that would reform telehealth and make it available permanently. HB 122 was passed by the House of Representatives on April 15, 2021, and by the Senate on December 8, 2021.  It is now awaiting Governor Mike DeWine’s (R) signature.  This bill expands the list of providers who may bill for telehealth services, adds new services that a provider may bill for, and permanently suspends outmoded regulations limiting access to care.

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste wrote a letter on December 7, 2021, supporting the passage of HB 122.  The letter noted that telehealth offers an affordable and accessible alternative to in-person care, especially for the elderly and rural patients. 

Legislation like HB 122 should be adopted in states that have not already provided permanent authority and reforms for telehealth.  During 2020 and 2021, the federal government and 22 states temporarily suspended aspects of telemedicine regulations to better serve patients in the fight against COVID-19.  Like Ohio has done, several of those states made these changes permanent 

According to a McKinsey & Company’s Healthcare and Services Division report, telemedicine usage increased from 11 percent to 46 percent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the first quarter of 2019.  When using a mobile app, 80% of telehealth patients preferred telehealth service compared to in-office visits.

The U.S. healthcare marketplace is transformative, and removing government barriers to accessible, affordable care allows innovation to flourish.  Reforming telehealth today will open the door for new ways to access medicine tomorrow.  To achieve that objective, the government must not overreach or over regulate and instead allow the market to determine the direction for healthcare.


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