Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill that is meant to change the face of telemedicine in the state. With the bill, doctors can now utilize telemedicine services with patients they have not met. This eliminates the previous requirement that the doctor-patient relationship had to be established by an in-patient visit first.
According to Politico, Texas was the last state to still hold onto this need. Now that it has been eliminated, direct-to-consumer telemedicine dealers can now expand their services across the nation. However, there are still limitations on the phone call-based telemedicine in Arkansas and Idaho. The signing of the bill is good news for companies like Teladoc, MDLive, Doctor on Demand and American Well.
The telehealth provider in this State knows as Teladoc is especially cheering this victory as it has been battling with Texas Medical Board for the past six years regarding the issue of telemedicine in Lone Star State. They took the responsibility to preserve telemedicine in the state for more than six years since 2001, and they are gratified to have finally been invited to collaborate with the Texas legislature to accomplish the goal of offering treatment through computers and phones. They are looking forward to showing the nation their video capabilities and end their legal dispute in Texas.
This step is expected to resolve the Texas Medical Board issues with Teladoc and provide people with a means to secure their path to quality, affordable and easily accessible health care. The bill passage is also a win for the Texas’ residents especially those living in rural areas. They do not have to travel all the way to the city searching for health care.
There are potential telehealth patients from all over Texas as everyone will take advantage of this opportunity to get health care from home. This will open the doors to a more convenient health care plan. However, supporters are hoping that its convenience will promote a follow-up by doctors through audiovisual methods. People should understand that this technology is not meant to replace doctors rather it is there to make health care accessible to all.