Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 2395

       S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2016

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred S.B. No. 2395, S.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to support the use of telehealth services within the State. 


     Specifically, this measure requires:


(1)  Medicaid managed care and fee-for-service programs to provide reimbursement for services provided by telehealth in the same manner as those provided in person;


(2)  That services provided by telehealth be consistent with privacy, security, and confidentiality laws;


(3)  Professional liability coverage for services provided by telehealth to the same extent as coverage for services provided in person; and


(4)  Insurers to provide enrollees and subscribers with disclosures related to services provided by telehealth.


     Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the State Council on Developmental Disabilities, The Queen's Health Systems, Healthcare Association of Hawaii, Hawaii Pacific Health, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii, and two individuals.  Your Committee received written comments on this measure from Department of Human Services.


     Your Committee finds that due to a shortage of physicians and remoteness of locations, many rural and underserved communities lack access to specialized physicians.  Your Committee further finds that these communities would benefit from the use of telehealth.  However, artificial barriers such as a lack of health insurance coverage and professional liability insurance coverage limitations discourage qualified physicians from using telehealth to provide medical services to individuals in these communities.  Your Committee believes that this measure will assist in reducing barriers to implementing telehealth and will improve the quality of health care in the State.


     Your Committee requests that the Department of Human Services work with the next committee that hears this measure to establish an appropriate timeframe for implementing the amendments made by this measure.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2395, S.D. 1, and recommends that it pass Third Reading.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,