When is the last time you felt bad or you hurt yourself, and just did not feel like heading to the doctor’s office or ER? Then you sit there for another one or two hours before you see the doctor.
On May 12, 2017, the Texas State Legislature passed SB 1107, this piece of legislature opens the door for telemedicine in the Lone Star State changing prior Texas law which allows physicians in Texas to use telemedicine to establish a valid physician-patient relationship without the need for an in-person exam.
WHAT IS TELEMEDICINE?
Telemedicine or Telehealth is the delivery of healthcare services and clinical information using the Internet, wireless, satellite and telephone media in Real-time live interaction between a health professional and patient or between physicians.
According to Evisit “More accessible, convenient healthcare for patients is the driving force behind the telemedicine field. Telemedicine was originally developed in the U.S. as a way to address care shortages, especially in remote rural areas”.
ADVANTAGES OF SB 1107
Texas is a big state with lots of outlying rural areas. Once, Governor Abbot signs SB 1107 into law; it will be a benefit to these areas, with easier access to healthcare. The disabled that have a hard time getting to the doctor will benefit. American Telemedicine Association tells us that it will create value for the payers, and providers and reduce the cost structure.
INSURANCE AND TELEMEDICINE
The National Law Review states that “Texas is among the majority of states to have enacted a telehealth commercial insurance coverage law. Texas’ coverage law prohibits a health plan from excluding a telemedicine service from coverage solely because the service is not provided through a face-to-face consultation”.
With the passing of the Texas State Legislature SB 1107, a precedence will be set opening the door for other states. Leave it to Texas to bring back the old practice of a house call with a new twist via the internet.