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Bipartisan Bill to Facilitate Use of Telemedicine and Telehealth Services for COVID-19 Health Response Clears Assembly

Bills Part of COVID-19 Response Package

To help deliver health care services and clinical information to patients remotely using digital health tools during the current COVID-19 public health emergency, the full Assembly approved a measure 64-0-0 on Monday.

The bill (A-3860) seeks to ensure that clinical services over the internet or using wireless, satellite or telephone communications equipment are available to residents, regardless of an existing provider-patient relationship, by authorizing health care providers to administer telemedicine and telehealth services in times of public health emergency.

Bipartisan sponsors of the bill, Assembly members Nancy Pinkin (D-Middlesex), BettyLou DeCroce (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) and Daniel Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex), issued the following joint statement:

The steady spread of the coronavirus threatens the viability of health-care delivery in New Jersey and across the country. This bill would ensure that health care providers are able to continue tending to patients from the safety of their homes to protect both the public and, even more critically, front-line health workers. Widespread access to telemedicine and telehealth services will also provide concerned citizens with access to reliable medical information and allow them to obtain needed services remotely as hospitals and urgent care centers deal with increasing caseloads. As we continue to promote the necessity of social distancing, we must take steps to ensure that everyone – including those with chronic health conditions – is able to safely the access the care they need.”

The bill would also allow the Commissioner of Health to waive any requirement of State law or regulation to facilitate the provision of telemedicine and telehealth services.