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Hogan to sign bills to make telehealth easier in Maryland

Gov. Larry Hogan plans to sign two bills into law on Friday that will make it easier for medical professionals to use telehealth to treat patients.
Gov. Larry Hogan plans to sign two bills into law on Friday that will make it easier for medical professionals to use telehealth to treat patients. (Jerry Jackson / Baltimore Sun)

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan will sign into law two bills that make it easier for medical professionals to use telehealth to treat patients.

Hogan, a Republican, plans to sign the bills on Friday.

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Telehealth involves treating patients who are not present in a medical office through methods such as video chats. With government officials attempting to limit person-to-person interactions due to the coronavirus pandemic, telehealth has emerged as a way for patients to be in contact with their health care providers.

Both bills were drafted and introduced earlier in the year, before the coronavirus became a pressing national health concern. Lawmakers ended up making the bills emergency measures, so they will take effect as soon as Hogan signs them.

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Earlier this week, Hogan signed an executive order designed to make it easier for providers to use telehealth, but that measure would expire when Maryland’s state of emergency is lifted.

Maryland lawmakers passed more than 600 bills during their annual General Assembly session that adjourned early on March 18. Lawmakers have until Tuesday to formally present the bills to the governor, and he has 30 days after that to decide whether to sign them into law, allow them to become law without his signature or veto them.

General Assembly leaders have discussed holding a special session in late May to consider any additional legislation that may be needed to help the state with the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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