Texas has been undergoing a series of revision of its telemedicine regulations. It is among the last states which have mandated that in-person relationships between the medics and the patients be enhanced before offering telehealth services. Several bills have been debated upon, all with an intention to harmonize these regulations.
For a long period, it has been a requirement that the physicians should meet their patients physically before administering any telemedicine services. While it appears safe, especially because the patients relate with their doctors face-to-face, it is also quite inconveniencing as it is not all that necessary.
The truth remains that the medical telemedicine services reach the patients as efficient as they would if the doctors met them in-person.
The battle against telemedicine rules in Texas kicked off in 2011. It began shortly after the state’s medical board warned the health practitioners of losing their licenses if they failed to establish the in-person appointments with their patients before making any other transaction like prescribing medicine online or over the phone.
Since then the board has been trying to amend the laws to enhance these restrictions. Despite the strict regulations, some telehealth companies objected to these rules saying that the board’s intention was to curtail their services.
Texas telemedicine advocates and medical groups have relentlessly held discussions with an attempt to lighten the weight of these rules. Among the many things they want to be implemented is the reduction of the strictness of the medical board regulations and the harmonization of the telemedicine prices.
They also seek to enforce a modernization of the state’s telemedicine services which they say that majority of them are outdated. With the implementation of their recommendations, telemedicine services will become much smoother for the physicians translating to more satisfied patients.
Many hospital councils in Texas are also in support of the bipartisan bill to eliminate the regulations saying that if implemented, it will be of great benefit to all Texas residents.