Gov. Brad Little telehealth executive order

Idaho Gov. Brad Little displays his just-signed executive order easing telehealth restrictions in Idaho permanently on Monday, June 22, 2020; he had earlier eased the restrictions for the coronavirus pandemic.

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A group of Idaho telehealth experts are considering broadening the legal definition of the term to improve health care delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic, writes Post Register reporter Kyle Pfannenstiel. The state Telehealth Task Force, assembled in July 2019 to analyze the state of telehealth in Idaho and craft recommendations for reform, is set to do more "homework" to consider ways it could tweak Idaho's definition of telehealth after its monthly meeting on Wednesday.

The pandemic laid bare how crucial telemedicine is to delivering health care, particularly in rural, expansive Idaho where remote areas often don't have many doctors nearby or reliable broadband connections. Telehealth reform in Idaho has been a yearslong process, involving a sweeping bill passed by the Legislature in 2015 — which it modified this year — and, just last month, an executive order by Gov. Brad Little that permanently lifted many telehealth restrictions.

You can read Pfannenstiel's full story here at postregister.com, or pick up today's edition of the Idaho Press; it's on the front page.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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