Arthenia Joyner bill would protect telemedicine in insurance coverage

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Tampa Senator Arthenia Joyner today filed a bill to prevent health insurance providers from banning telemedicine, the use of videoconferencing and other technology between doctors and patients. Joyner’s bill SB 70 will be under consideration for the 2014 legislative session.

Some insurers require medical consults occur with face-to-face meetings, and Joyner’s proposal would eliminate that requirement if video teleconferencing or similar means were available.

According to the bill, “Health care services covered through in-person consultations or through telemedicine shall be treated as equivalent services for the purposes of health insurance coverage and payment.”

In addition, the proposal would instruct the Florida Department of Health to investigate telemedicine options for diagnosing strokes, premature births, high-risk pregnancies, mental-health and other emergency services.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.