California Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 415, the Telehealth Advancement Act of 2011, and opened the door for far-reaching expansion of telehealth services in California.
The bill was authored by Assembly Member Dan Logue (R-Chico), recognizing telehealth’s future role in providing access to health care. It was supported by the state's telehealth stakeholders and leaders and passed with no opposing votes in the legislature.
The telehealth bill advances and updates California's 1996 Telemedicine Development Act. Itl enables health care providers to better provide care for Californians especially in rural and underserved areas of the state. The act allows for the provision of a broader range of telehealth services, expansion of telehealth providers to include all licensed healthcare professionals, the expansion of telehealth care settings and the ability for California hospitals to establish medical credentials for telehealth providers more easily.
The California State Rural Health Association (CSRHA), sponsor of the bill, worked in collaboration with the Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP), the California Telemedicine and eHealth Center (CTEC), the California Telehealth Network (CTN) and many other health care organizations in the state, including the CCHP Telehealth Model Statute Work Group, to make crucial recommendations for the new bill.