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May 29, 2024

Gov. Polis Signs Bill to Increase Availability of Telehealth Services

FRISCO, CO – Governor Jared Polis today signed legislation to increase access to telehealth services in rural and underserved areas, and to better combat cardiac disease.

“Coloradans in my district know firsthand how challenging and expensive it can be to access critical health care services,” said Senator Dylan Roberts, D-Frisco. “During my time in the legislature, I’ve worked hard to deliver high-quality, affordable health care services to underserved and rural areas and this law expands access to remote health services and continuous glucose monitors, which have proven to be successful at ensuring patients receive the right care, at the right place, at the right time and save so much money in the long-run.”

“Expanding access to health care is critical, especially in our rural and mountain communities,” said Speaker Julie McCluskie, D-Dillon. “My family lives with diabetes, and continuous glucose monitors have made living with this disease better for all of us and ensured strong health outcomes for my husband. To help ensure everyone has access to the health care they need when they need it, our law works to expand and encourage telehealth options. This new law also establishes a grant program to help our hospitals and providers implement telehealth technology and better serve our community members.”

“For many of the residents living in my district, the nearest hospital is miles and miles away, making it hard to receive high-quality health care when they need it,” said Rep. Matthew Martinez. “This law expands telehealth services into rural and underserved communities like mine so everyone can access the treatment and care needed to live a healthy life. Our bipartisan law also creates a rural-specific grant program to help our health care providers locate and implement telehealth technology in their practice.” 

Also sponsored by Senator Cleave Simpson, R-Alamosa, SB24-168 will direct the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to reimburse the use of telehealth monitoring for outpatient services for Medicaid patients and provide coverage for continuous glucose monitoring devices. Additionally, the new law will create a grant program to assist rural and shortage area providers in obtaining remote telehealth monitoring equipment. Funds from the grant program could also be used for training staff on utilizing remote monitoring equipment.

Governor Polis also signed HB24-1219, sponsored by Speaker McCluskie, Representative Mike Lynch, R-Wellington, and Senators Kyle Mullica, D-Thornton, and Byron Pelton, R-Sterling. This new law aims to detect cardiac disease and symptoms early and help save lives. Specifically, this law expands eligibility for required firefighter heart and circulatory malfunction benefits to include part-time and volunteer firefighters, requires employers to participate in the multi-employer cancer trust, and creates a cardiac screening trust for peace officers.

“Cardiac disease impacts so many Colorado families and early detection can save lives,” said Speaker McCluskie. “Minority Leader McKean was a great leader who left us too soon. In his honor, we will continue to fight against cardiac disease, save lives and work toward a brighter future that he can be proud of.” 

“Diagnosing cardiac disease early on can lead to better prognoses, more effective treatment, and can save lives,” said Senator Kyle Mullica, D-Thornton. “By expanding eligibility for cardiac benefits programs to first responders like firefighters and peace officers, we’re taking better care of the folks that take care of our communities. This new law will help reduce the risks of life-threatening cardiac disease and support the well-being of our communities – I’m proud to see it signed into law.”

In 2022, House Minority Leader Hugh McKean passed away after expressing concern about pain on the left side of his body. McKean was 55 years old. 

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