Senator Allen’s, S-291, authorizes healthcare providers who are licensed by the state to engage in telemedicine. Physicians use telemedicine to treat patients via video conferencing, transmission of images and medical records, call centers, patient portals, remote monitoring of vital signs, and mental health screenings.
Under the law, telemedicine providers must meet with people electronically face to face or use “store and forward” technology to allow patients to electronically send images, diagnostics, data and medical records. A combination of audio, store forward and live, interactive video must be used unless, after a thorough review of patient records, the provider concludes that a patient’s needs can be met with audio and store- forward alone.
S-291 will also require health insurance companies to provide coverage and payment for services provided through telemedicine at least at the same rate as services provided in-person. Providers would not be able to issue prescriptions for controlled dangerous substances until an in-person exam has been conducted. The State licensing board would be responsible for adopting rules and regulations for telemedicine.
The law will take effect immediately.
“No one should have to choose between seeing a doctor and paying for groceries,” Senator Allen said. “Authorizing licensed providers to practice telemedicine is a commonsense way to bring the rising cost of healthcare down for millions of new patients. I look forward to seeing our residents take advantage of this innovative and easy way to stay healthy.”