Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 2469

       S.D. 2




Honorable Donna Mercado Kim

President of the Senate

Twenty-Seventh State Legislature

Regular Session of 2014

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection, to which was referred S.B. No. 2469, S.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to:


     (1)  Require reimbursement for services provided through telehealth to be equivalent to reimbursement for the same services provided via face-to-face contact between a health care provider and a patient;


     (2)  Clarify that a health care provider of telehealth includes primary care providers, mental health providers, and oral health providers, such as physicians and osteopathic physicians, advanced practice registered nurses, psychologists, and dentists; and


     (3)  Amend references to "telemedicine" in the Hawaii Revised Statutes to "telehealth" for consistency.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the State Council on Developmental Disabilities, Hawaii Medical Service Association, Healthcare Association of Hawaii, Hawaii Medical Association, Hawaii Association of Health Plans, and six individuals.  Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Human Services and Hawaii Medical Board.


     Your Committee finds that the effective use of telehealth is vitally important in Hawaii, where many segments of the population, especially on the neighbor islands, face geographical challenges to accessing quality health care.  Your Committee further finds that this measure will assist in the delivery of enhanced statewide health care services, increase access to services, and provide timely information to patients and health care providers.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


     (1)  Making a nonsubstantive clarifying amendment regarding the provider-patient relationship for telehealth reimbursement purposes;


     (2)  Changing its effective date to upon approval; and


     (3)  Making other technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2469, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2469, S.D. 2.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection,