CONCORD — A new law signed by Gov. Chris Sununu on Monday will expand telemedicine in New Hampshire.

SB 258 allows primary care physicians and pediatricians to bill Medicaid and private insurers for telemedicine services, previously only allowed by health-care specialists.

It also allows billing for in-home patient monitoring, as well as storing and forwarding of information for examinations.

Prime sponsor Sen. Jay Kahn (D-Keene) said: Telemedicine expansion is important for rural health care delivery and will accelerate diagnosis and communication between health-care providers, patients, emergency responders, guardians and caregivers — thereby reducing the cost of health care.

"This bill grew from a bipartisan study committee with input from health care providers and the Department of Health and Human Services; it expands billable services to in-home care providers and a broader range of physician services," he said. "I applaud Gov. Sununu’s decision to sign this bill to expand telemedicine in the Granite State."

Senate Health and Human Services Chair Dr. Tom Sherman (D-Rye), a a practicing gastroenterologist and chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, said with modern technology telemedicine can create real-time productive connections between health-care providers and patients.

"While we can never fully replace face-to-face medical interaction, telemedicine has the potential to redefine the role of the traditional office visit, allowing ready access to expertise essential to a patient’s care,” he said.

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