STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1410
RE: S.B. No. 970
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce, to which was referred S.B. No. 970, S.D. 2, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO TELEHEALTH,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to authorize the establishment of a physician-patient relationship via a telehealth interaction, if the physician is licensed to practice medicine in the State.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the University of Hawai‘i System, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Hawaii Medical Board, Healthcare Association of Hawaii, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii, Hawai‘i Pacific Health, Hawai‘i Public Health Institute, AARP Hawai‘i, The Queen's Health Systems, Hawaii Substance Abuse Coalition, Kaiser Permanente Hawai‘i, and two individuals.
Your Committee finds that the COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed how health care providers care for their patients. As a result of the pandemic, the State has seen an increase in the use of telehealth services, which provides a safe and easy way for patients to continue seeing their health care providers. Despite the convenience of telehealth, existing law remains ambiguous regarding whether a patient can use telehealth to establish a physician-patient relationship. Your Committee believes that having the flexibility to establish a physician-patient relationship through a telehealth interaction will increase access to care for residents in the State.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 970, S.D. 2, H.D. 1, and recommends that it be referred to your Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce,
AARON LING JOHANSON, Chair