Telehealth Bill Passes Unanimously on Senate Floor

The Minnesota Senate telehealth bill, SF 1160, passed the floor on April 27 with a unanimous bipartisan vote of 67-0. The Senate language is also included in the omnibus health and human services budget bill.

Both the Senate and House bills expand coverage for public and private payers to cover telehealth from a patient’s home and to cover telephone-only services.  

Where the two bills differ is the Senate bill has an effective date of July 1, 2021, for most coverages and sunsets telephone coverage for public programs on June 30, 2023. The House bill has an effective date of Jan. 1, 2022, for most sections and sunsets telephone coverage for both public and private payers on June 30, 2023.

Included in both bills is a directive to the Commissioner of Human Services to study the impacts of telehealth, including telephone-only coverage, on access, quality, and health equity. The study will also look at costs related to telehealth coverage and whether payment structures need to be modified.

Any final action on the telehealth bill will be taken as part of the omnibus budget bills.