Texas became an even better place to live in March, 2017. The Texas Senate has finally approved Bill 1107. This means that the industry of telehealth will be available on a large scale throughout the state. Telemedicine has been disputed in courts and regulatory hearings for several years. The approval of bill 1107 marks the arrival of a comprise among legislators, providers, doctors and the insurance industry. Bill 1107 is the last in a long line of measures presented to the Texas senate, but the first to be approved by the senate and on its way to becoming state law.
Texas Senator Charles Schwertner, the chairman of health and human services drafted the legislation making it easier for people in Texas, particularly those in far-flung and rural areas to receive medical treatment.
Telemedical appointments were utilized almost two decades ago in the Texas prison system, saving the state hundreds of millions of dollars. Telemedicine has been practiced in several other states for many years.
The new law will provide medical services to 35 counties without practicing health providers of any sort. While 80 Texas counties only have a handful of available doctors. Consequently, placing Texas among the least medically state served in the United States.
Bill 1107’s approval will improve personal health and lower the costs of medical care in Texas. All rural Texans need now are access to a telephone or the internet, and the skills to search for a physician. Accessing prescriptions, treatment of common ailments and medical advice won’t mean expensive trips to urban areas. The measure is sure to save local and state level budgets money as telemedicine reduces overhead costs for many physcians, insurers and providers.
The Texas senate will continue to define the rules and regulations around the evolving industry of telemedicine. Licensing boards have an enormous task ahead in specifying what medical services are available through the growing industry of digital medicine.