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.