By Jon King /

Legislation proposed by a local lawmaker to increase health care access has been signed into law.

On Wednesday, Governor Whitmer signed a series of House Bills into law, including HB 5412, sponsored by Republican State Representative Hank Vaupel of Handy Township. The bill revises the definition of “telemedicine” in the state insurance code, by replacing a requirement that a patient be able to interact with an off-site health care professional at the time the services are provided.

Previously telemedicine visits between patients and doctors had to be done in real time. The new law allows patients to record video and forward it along with images, which Vaupel says gives doctors more time to thoroughly analyze data and test results. Whitmer, in her signing letter to the Legislature, said she was pleased to sign the bills as they will increase access to healthcare in Michigan by ensuring that telemedicine and remote patient monitoring services will be covered by insurers and by Medicaid. She added that while they codify portions of her Executive Orders issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Michiganders will benefit “for years to come.”

Vaupel says the package of bills was written to keep medical information secure by complying with existing data privacy standards and security provisions.