Frontier Institute Applauds Gov. Gianforte for Signing HB 43
Gianforte preserves access to telehealth after COVID by repealing regulations permanently
HELENA (April, 2021) – Today, Governor Gianforte officially signed HB 43, a bill which draws from recommendations in the Frontier Institute’s Montana Recovery Agenda to permanently eliminate regulations waived during the coronavirus outbreak which increased telehealth access and helped lower costs.
“Governor Gianforte and the legislature deserve recognition for acting quickly to preserve access to telehealth after the COVID emergency ends by repealing telehealth regulations permanently,” said Kendall Cotton, President and CEO of the Frontier Institute. “Thousands of Montana patients can continue benefiting from telehealth thanks to this bipartisan effort to remove unnecessary regulations.”
The Frontier Institute endorsed HB 43, providing supporting testimony and assisting in drafting the legislation. The bill passed both chambers unanimously.
In addition to flexibilities authorized at the federal level, emergency orders temporarily waived numerous Montana regulations of telehealth in 2020, including:
- Montana’s prohibition on telehealth via audio-only telephone.
- Requirements that a provider/patient relationship be established prior to providing telehealth.
- Rules requiring face-to-face interactions with healthcare professionals.
As a direct result of waiving these regulations, reports show 27 percent of Montana seniors on Medicare used telehealth to talk with their primary care providers, with at least 12,000 Montana seniors using audio-only telephones.
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Founded in 2020, The Frontier Institute (FI) is a nonpartisan nonprofit that elevates objective research and powerful stories to cultivate informed civic leaders dedicated to breaking down government barriers so that all Montanans can thrive.