For Immediate Release:
March 28, 2013

Contact: Sheron Fulson
(573) 751-3158

Legislation Sponsored by State Sen. Shalonn "Kiki" Curls Advances to the House

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Senate today gave final approval to Senate Bill 262, sponsored by Sen. Shalonn “Kiki” Curls, D-Kansas City.  Telemedicine uses modern-day information technology to provide certain health care services to various citizens, notably those who are not able to easily leave their homes or do not have close access to medical facilities.

“Telemedicine is a great way for citizens to access health care across the Show-Me State,” said Sen. Curls.  “It reduces the need for travel from rural areas of our state and saves taxpayer dollars by having to pay for medical travels, such as instances when citizens who are on Medicare are transported from nursing homes to medical treatment centers.”

Senate Bill 262 would prohibit health care insurance companies from denying coverage for health care services if the diagnosis, consultation or treatment of a patient is provided through telemedicine rather than face-to-face consultation or contact between a health care provider and patient. 

The legislation would prohibit larger deductibles, copayments or coinsurance amounts for services using telemedicine compared to the same health care service provided through face-to face diagnosis, consultation or treatment. 

Sen. Curls’ says her legislation benefits Missourians because they can gain better access to health care from all parts of the state. 

“Provisions such as these become increasingly important as we look for ways to provide improved access to health care around the state in rural and urban communities,” said Sen. Curls.

Senate Bill 262 now moves to the House for consideration.  If passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by the governor, the legislation would take effect Jan. 1, 2014.