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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 14, 2022 01:25 PM
From: Representative Tina Pickett
To: All House members
Subject: Telehealth: Outpatient Psychiatric Oversight
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation addressing telehealth psychiatric and advanced practice professionals’ supervision requirements in outpatient psychiatric clinics.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many behavioral health providers moved to an entirely virtual model.  Telehealth makes mental health services more accessible as it helps patients avoid stigma and get treatment from the privacy of home. Different mental health problems typically anxiety, depression, and substance-related disorder, etc. can be treated with telemedicine efficiently and effectively. I believe that telemedicine provides an essential link for patients with special requirements, including the young, minority populations, and the elderly. One item to consider is the specific telehealth needs of patients in challenging geographic areas or who may be facing transportation barriers.
My legislation will help outpatient psychiatric clinics meet the growing demand and address the shortage of in-person psychiatric time we are facing in Pennsylvania.  The legislation removes a statutory barrier giving the Department of Human Services more flexibility to issue waivers to accommodate individual clinics in providing mental health services. The legislation will allow licensed prescribing professionals to work within their scope of practice as is the case in the physical health care arena.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.

Introduced as HB2419