HARRISBURG – Legislation that would make mental health services more accessible to Pennsylvania residents through telehealth technology, sponsored by Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna), passed unanimously in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. House Bill 2419
will next be considered by the Senate.
“With the stigma still attached to accessing mental health services and the ongoing shortage of in-person psychiatric time facing the state, telehealth has proven to be a valuable tool in reaching as many patients as possible,” said Pickett. “Different mental health problems, including anxiety, depression and substance-related disorders can be treated efficiently and effectively through telemedicine.”
House Bill 2419 would give greater latitude in the issuance of waivers by removing the statutory requirement of 50% of on-site psychiatric time. Psychiatrists and advanced practice professionals would use in-person or telehealth sessions with patients as specified in department regulations or waivers.
Pickett, who chairs the House Insurance Committee, noted that her legislation grew out of a concern expressed by a constituent.
Representative Tina Pickett
110th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Andy Briggs