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Legislature could pass telehealth bill in Florida

Posted at 5:28 PM, Apr 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-26 17:28:11-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — This could be the year the Florida Legislature passes a bill to establish a telehealth framework in the state.

The Senate on Friday set up for a final vote a measure that would allow some out-of- state licensed health care providers to provide telehealth to Florida residents.

Telehealth, which is also known as telemedicine, involves using the internet and other technology to provide services to patients remotely.

Telehealth is not a type of health care service but rather is a mode to deliver services.

Senator Gayle Harrell is sponsoring the legislation.

“We are going to provide the quality, cost, access, and delivery of healthcare in Florida, in the most efficient way using the 21st century technology," said Harrell.

A state-created task force submitted a report in October 2017 recommending ways to jump-start telehealth.

Chief among those recommendations was a requirement that insurance companies reimburse physicians for telehealth services the same as if the services were provided in person.

But insurers have opposed any attempt to put into law requirements on what to pay providers.

The payment issue has been a stumbling block in past efforts by the legislature to pass a telehealth bill.

The Senate could approve the bill on Monday and send it back to the House for final passage during the final week of the 2019 regular legislative session.