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Once-controversial telehealth bill passes Senate

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SALT LAKE CITY — A once-controversial bill calling for expansion of telehealth access for medical care providers in rural parts of the state — but not for abortion reversal — passed unanimously in the Senate.

HB154, sponsored by Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, would require transparency from insurance companies in telehealth reimbursement, and it would generally promote health care providers using the technology to care for patients in remote areas.

The bill originally included a provision to not allow doctors to prescribe abortion drugs to telehealth patients. That mandate was removed from the bill in a Senate committee last week.

On Wednesday, the Senate voted 26-0 in favor of the bill. The House previously voted 56-15 to pass HB154, but now must consider the amended version of the bill.

"This bill expands the ability for telehealth medicine to take place. It addresses insurance changes that need to be so that providers can actually be paid through insurance," said Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, the bill's Senate sponsor.

— Ryan Morgan

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