Telehealth legislation introduced

Dec. 23, 2013

Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Congressman Bill Johnson (R-OH) have introduced the Telehealth Modernization Act of 2013 (H.R. 3750). The legislation provides much needed assistance to states seeking to develop telehealth policies key to the provision of virtual healthcare.

Telehealth, the practice of bringing healthcare providers and patients together virtually, is becoming a widely accepted practice across the United States.  By removing barriers such as provider shortages, distance, mobility and time constraints, telehealth is invaluable in helping to resolve our nation's greatest healthcare challenges. 

The Telehealth Modernization Act promotes the proliferation of telehealth technologies by offering states consistent and clear definitions and principles they can look to for guidance when developing new policies that govern telehealth. There currently exists an inconsistent and often dated patchwork of state laws which have inhibited the deployment of telehealth in both the private and public sectors. The legislation respects current state rules around the practice of medicine, while acknowledging an increasing number of states are currently considering the issue of modernizing telehealth practice.

The bill's principles are consistent with the standard of care for in-person healthcare services, which will ensure the safe and secure deployment and utilization of telehealth, including:

  • Establishing Relationships: The fundamental patient-provider relationship can be preserved, established and augmented through the use of telehealth;
  • Informed Care: A healthcare professional should have access to and review the medical history of the individual he or she is treating via telehealth;
  • Documentation: A healthcare professional should document the evaluation and any treatment furnished to the patient, as well as generate a medical record of the telehealth encounter;
  • Continuity of Care: Telehealth technology platforms should allow each patient the ability to forward documentation to selected care providers to uphold the patient's continuity of care;
  • Prescription Requirements: Prescriptions provided by telehealth providers should be issued for a legitimate medical purpose only and be filled by a valid dispensing entity.

Sponsored Recommendations

Clinical Evaluation: An AI Assistant for Primary Care

The AAFP's clinical evaluation offers a detailed analysis of how an innovative AI solution can help relieve physicians' administrative burden and aid them in improving health ...

From Chaos to Clarity: How AI Is Making Sense of Clinical Documentation

From Chaos to Clarity dives deep into how AI Is making sense of disorganized patient data and turning it into evidence-based diagnosis suggestions that physicians can trust, leading...

Bridging the Health Plan/Provider Gap: Data-Driven Collaboration for a Value-Based Future

Download the findings report to understand the current perspective of provider and health plan leaders’ shift to value-based care—with a focus on the gaps holding them back and...

Exploring the future of healthcare with Advanced Practice Providers

Discover how Advanced Practice Providers are transforming healthcare: boosting efficiency, cutting wait times and enhancing patient care through strategic integration and digital...