Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 1246

       S.D. 2




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred S.B. No. 1246, S.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to promote the adoption of telehealth across the State.


     Specifically, this measure:


(1)  Establishes a policy of the State to promote telehealth;


(2)  Establishes the state strategic telehealth advisory council to advise the Governor on a plan to establish telehealth as a means of health care access;


(3)  Establishes the state telehealth coordinator to support the state strategic telehealth advisory council; and


(4)  Requires the Department of Health to establish and convene a telehealth administrative simplification working group to research and make recommendations to reduce administrative barriers to telehealth.


     Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Department of Health, Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Hawaii Psychological Association, Hawaii Chapter of American Physical Therapy Association, Hawaii Medical Service Association, Healthcare Association of Hawaii, The Queen's Health Systems, Hawaii Primary Care Association, Early Childhood Action Strategy, and two individuals.


     Your Committee received written comments in opposition to this measure from one individual.


     Your Committee received written comments on this measure from the Insurance Division of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.


     Your Committee finds that the current shortage of health care professionals in the State has disproportionately impacted its rural areas.  Telehealth can help to provide access to health care, especially highly specialized and technical services, to patients who would not otherwise have access to those medical services.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1)  Clarifying that the state strategic telehealth advisory council shall select a chairperson from among its members;


(2)  Recasting the provisions of section 2 in session law;


(3)  Changing the effective date to July 1, 2050, to facilitate further discussion on the measure; and


(4)  Making technical nonsubstantive amendments for purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.


     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. 1246, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1246, S.D. 2.


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