Governor Lamont Signs Order Enabling Expanded Use of Telehealth Services To Continue During COVID-19 Pandemic
HARTFORD, CT (STL.News) Governor Ned Lamont announced that he has signed an executive order modifying certain state laws in order to allow expanded access to telehealth services to continue in Connecticut during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Telehealth services are those that enable healthcare providers to interact with patients, including those with Medicaid coverage, without needing to meet in person by using electronic methods, such as video conferencing and telephones, and thus supporting adequate social distancing measures.
When the pandemic began in March 2020, Governor Lamont immediately recognized the need to encourage the use of telehealth and he issued Executive Order No. 7G, which utilized the emergency authority granted to him due to the pandemic in order to relax certain laws regulating these services.
To further encourage the use of telehealth, the Connecticut General Assembly met in special session in July 2020 and adopted Public Act 20-2, which codified those provisions of the governor’s executive order into state statute and also provided additional flexibility on these services. That public act, however, included an expiration date of March 15, 2021.
Governor Lamont said that patients continue to benefit from the expanded use of telehealth services and it’s too early for the provisions relaxing those regulations to end. The order he issued today, Executive Order No. 10C, slightly modifies that public act by extending its expiration date to April 20, 2021, which is the date that the emergency authority granted to him is set to expire.
“Telehealth services have been necessary, as well as overwhelmingly popular during the pandemic,” Governor Lamont said. “Thousands of Connecticut residents have benefited from their expanded use during this difficult time. I am committed to working with the legislature to allow healthcare providers and patients to continue using these services beyond April 20, when this executive order will expire.”