SENATE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As Passed Senate, February 25, 2019
Title: An act relating to physician credentialing in telemedicine services.
Brief Description: Concerning physician credentialing in telemedicine services.
Sponsors: Senators Becker, Cleveland, Rivers, O'Ban, Short, Bailey, Braun, Wilson, L., Warnick, Zeiger, Van De Wege and Keiser.
Committee Activity: Health & Long Term Care: 1/30/19, 2/06/19 [DP].
Passed Senate: 2/25/19, 49-0.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON HEALTH & LONG TERM CARE
Majority Report: Do pass.
Signed by Senators Cleveland, Chair; Randall, Vice Chair; O'Ban, Ranking Member; Bailey, Becker, Conway, Dhingra, Frockt, Keiser and Van De Wege.
Staff: Evan Klein (786-7483)
Background: Telemedicine is the use of interactive audio, video, or electronic media for the purpose of diagnosis, consultation, or treatment of a patient at an originating site. Store and forward technology is the use of an asynchronous transmission of a patient's medical information from an originating site to a provider at a distant site.
An originating site for telemedicine includes a hospital, rural health clinic, federally qualified health center, health care provider's office, community mental health center, skilled nursing center, renal dialysis center, or a home. A facility fee may not be charged for telemedicine services offered to a patient in their home.
When granting or renewing privileges or association of any physician providing telemedicine or store and forward services, an originating site hospital may rely on a distant site hospital's decision to grant or renew clinical privileges or association of the physician if the originating site hospital obtains written assurances that:
the distant site hospital is a Medicare participating hospital;
any physician providing telemedicine or store and forward at the distant site hospital will be fully privileged to provide services by the distant site hospital;
the physician holds and maintains a valid license; and
the originating site hospital has evidence that the physician was internally reviewed by the distant site hospital.
Summary of Bill: When granting or renewing credentials and privileges of any physician providing telemedicine or store and forward services, an originating site hospital may rely on a distant site hospital's decision to grant or renew credentials and privileges.
Fiscal Note: Not requested.
Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: There are great minds on the Collaborative who have done great work to make this bill possible. Every time a doctor is brought on board with a clinic, the physician's credentials must be verified by the clinic. This bill only applies to physicians who provide telemedicine services, and provides for a streamlined process to allow for credentialing to be done quicker by hospitals. The best minds in the field of telemedicine are recommending this bill. The passage of this bill will help close health disparities in Washington. This bill will increase efficiency in providing telemedicine services.
Persons Testifying: PRO: Senator Randi Becker, Prime Sponsor; Kristen Federici, Providence St. Joseph Health; Sarah Orth, Seattle Children's; Ian Goodhew, UW Medicine Health System; Joelle Fathi, citizen; Joshua Frank, Conlfuence Health.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.