Gov. Evers Signs Telehealth Definition Bill

On February 4, Gov. Tony Evers (D) announced his actions on 18 bills recently presented to him by the Legislature. The governor signed 14 bills into law and vetoed four others. Notably, Gov. Evers signed Senate Bill (SB) 309, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 121, which incorporates the definitions of “telehealth” and other related terms from the Medical Assistance program into the statutory chapters that pertain to occupational licensing. It requires the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) and any attached examining or affiliated credentialing board to define and use “telehealth” and related terms consistent with this bill in all promulgated rules. The bill passed both houses of the Legislature unanimously and was supported by health care providers, insurers, and local governments. Act 121 also implements a provision of the 2021-23 state budget directing the Department of Health Services to award $500,000 in grants annually to free and charitable clinics.

Among the bills vetoed by Gov. Evers on February 4 was Assembly Bill (AB) 86, which would have established requirements and prohibitions for complementary and alternative health care practitioners and authorized DSPS to investigate practitioners suspected of violating the law.

One week later, Gov. Evers announced that he had signed seven more bills into law as Acts 133 through 139. Six of the bills ratify collective bargaining agreements negotiated between the State of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin System, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison with the Wisconsin State Building Trades Negotiating Committee for the 2021-22 and 2020-21 fiscal years. The final bill ratifies the agreement negotiated between the state and the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association for the 2019-21 fiscal biennium.

Recently, we covered the Wisconsin Legislature’s floor votes on January 20 and January 25.