Stanley’s bills aimed at lowering costs for healthcare in rural areas

Sen. Bill Stanley (R- Franklin County) has introduced several bills to reform rural healthcare during this session of the Virginia General Assembly.

“The reform of rural healthcare is an important issue for our area, and I continue to propose legislation in Richmond that will ensure quality healthcare for the people of our region,” Stanley said.

The first piece of legislation proposed by Stanley would establish a telemedicine pilot program for rural areas.

SB19 would allow healthcare professionals to diagnose, treat and manage the healthcare needs of patients at the patient’s home using tele-communications. Stanley believes this would improve healthcare outcomes for the patients, including mental health patients, at lower costs to both the patient and the healthcare provider. The bill passed in committee by a 12 to 3 vote.

Another bill, SB20, would establish the Patient Centered Medical Home Advisory Council to help reform Virginia’s medical assistance program to increase quality of care while containing costs through a patient centered medical home system.

SB369 would allow patients in rural areas more access to nurse practitioners. The bill would authorize nurse practitioners to practice as part of a physician team or through an electronic practice agreement with a physician in clinics located in a medically underserved area of the state or areas with high unemployment rates.

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