Legislative Challenges to Telemedicine

Telemedicine offers many opportunities to patients, physicians and the healthcare system, including greater access and the possibility of lowering costs. However, telemedicine is also subject to state laws and regulations, which can make it easier to use in some locations than in others. For example, though Texas has a large and underserved rural population, Texas regulators have recently mandated that patients and physicians have an initial face-to-face encounter and physical exam before allowing services to be provided using telemedicine. This new regulation will make it difficult for patients to access providers who may be too far away to allow for the initial physical exam.

Though Texas has made the telemedicine climate more challenging, other states are making it easier to access these services. In Part VI of our series, Physician Focus: Telemedicine, Healthcare Matters speaks with award-winning physician Jonathan Terry, an osteopathic physician and surgeon and psychiatrist who uses telemedicine extensively in his practice. Dr. Terry addresses the regulations in Texas, and also explains how telemedicine is a quickly-evolving area, with more than 200 laws passed in 2015 related to telemedicine. In contrast to the Texas regulations, many of the other laws passed with reference to telemedicine have been positive and allowed for more use of technology in healthcare. To learn more, watch Part VI of our video below. To watch the full interview with Dr. Terry, click here.


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