The increase in conferencing in the medical industry has been increasingly adopted by both private practices and larger health systems. Telemedicine however is a rather taboo subject in some states, bringing hundreds of telehealth-related bills and regulations.
Video conferencing in healthcare is not legal in every state in the United States. Some state medical boards have refused to give the go ahead due to a number of concerns. There are valid concerns such as patients not being able to determine the seriousness of a situation, that the standard of care may not be at the same level or that a patient should be seen in person first before establishing a remote medical relationship with a doctor.
The state of Texas on the other hand has decided to move forward with telemedicine availability for its residents.
Texas healthcare sees telemedicine in a different light and are willing to take the chance to provide the technology to residents without a prior in-person evaluation.
Because an alarming number of Texans do not have physicians easily accessible, Governer Greg Abbott signed the Telemedicine Bill to allow more access to healthcare. The state agrees that telemedicine could be a great chance for Texas citizens to have access to doctors they might not have access to now.
Under the bill, the state agrees that a physician can now utilize telemedicine services with patients they haven’t met in person, which is a change to previous regulations and opens up the regions for which patients can search for doctors without having to travel.
The state has partnered with Teladoc, a telehealth company that uses video conferencing to provide on demand, remote medical services. The program can be accessed via a computer, tablet or mobile device and has options for both voice and video.
In more rural parts of the state there are shortages of a professional workforce so the program’s convenience has been very beneficial. Users of the program have stated that the access to doctors not only by voice but by video provides an added level of comfort when discussing conditions or questions.