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Senate Unanimously Passes 'Transformational' Telehealth Expansion Bill

Lauren Chapman
IPB News

Telehealth services temporarily expanded during the pandemic will be permanently expanded under legislation unanimously approved by the Indiana Senate Tuesday.

Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso), the bill's author, calls those services “transformational.”

In 2019, IU Health had 7,400 telehealth visits. Last year, under expanded opportunities via Gov. Eric Holcomb’s COVID-19 executive orders, IU Health had more than 500,000 visits.

Charbonneau said providing more telehealth opportunities means more quality, affordable and accessible health care.

“There are fewer and fewer cancellations of appointments, fewer and fewer trips to the emergency room,” Charbonneau said.

READ MORE: How Do I Follow Indiana's Legislative Session? Here's Your Guide To Demystify The Process

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Sen. Blake Doriot (R-Goshen) said he uses telehealth a lot for appointments with a back surgeon and a neurologist.

“Telehealth saved me 2,100 miles of driving,” Doriot said.

The bill now heads to the House.

Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.