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Senate Bill 1126 — Virtual care access

Senate Bill 1126 — Virtual care access

Parrish Miller
February 17, 2021

Bill Description: Senate Bill 1126 rebrands "telehealth" as "virtual care," updates and adds to regulations, and creates a virtual care advisory board. 

Rating: -2

Does it create, expand, or enlarge any agency, board, program, function, or activity of government? Conversely, does it eliminate or curtail the size or scope of government?

Senate Bill 1126 creates Section 54-5714, Idaho Code, to establish a 15-member "virtual care advisory board," with all members appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the governor. The board will be overseen and administered by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.


Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce government intervention in the market?

Senate Bill 1126 modifies numerous sections of Idaho Code related to "telehealth" (which this bill rebrands as "virtual care") to update and increase regulations. One of the more notable examples is found in Section 54-5706, Idaho Code, where a requirement is added saying, "All providers who deliver care virtually must have a written policy and procedure for responding to a patient medical emergency, including a mental health emergency."

This is an overly broad regulation. A podiatrist having a virtual consultation about custom orthotics doesn't really need a written policy for responding to a mental health emergency. Government should leave such decisions and determinations up to the professionals providing services rather than micromanaging their businesses through statute. 


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