July 25, 2017

Texas House passes bill that would open up the way for D2C telemedicine



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Image Courtesy of Teladoc

The Texas House of Representatives today passed House Bill 2697 , a bill that would lift restrictions that have kept direct-to-consumer telemedicine companies from operating freely in Texas. The vote was unanimous. The bill, which was already passed in the Senate , will be returned to the Senate for concurrence and then sent to Governor Greg Abbott for a signature. Abbott is expected to sign the bill.

The bill – introduced by Representative Four Price and negotiated between the Texas Medical Association, the Texas eHealth Alliance, telemedicine provider Teladoc – allows the doctor-patient relationship to be established via telemedicine rather than in person and allows for asynchronous “store and forward technology” or other such audiovisual technology so long as it complies with rules set forth to ensure safety and quality of virtual care.

As such, it essentially puts an end to the long legal battle between Teladoc and the Texas State Medical Board. A settlement in the case seems likely at this point. It also allows any other direct-to-consumer telemedicine company, including Teladoc competitor American Well, to move into Texas.

"First and foremost – we join the industry in congratulating the House on passing this bill and entering the Telehealth Era," American […]

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