TAB Releases Extensive Telemedicine Report
Report Looks at State Health Care Needs and Policy Recommendations
AUSTIN, TX — The Texas Association of Business (TAB) released a report today highlighting why telemedicine must be part of the solution to Texas’ health care challenges. The report draws on national data, Texas-specific research and recent surveys of Texas voters and businesses.
The report, “Telemedicine: The 21st Century Answer to the Call for Better Health Care,” assesses the growing health care crisis in Texas, the promise of telemedicine and the direction in which state policies should move to improve access to health care via telemedicine.
“Unfortunately, Texas lags behind other states in establishing a supportive regulatory environment for the expansion of telemedicine services,” said Bill Hammond, CEO of TAB. “Texas has some of the most onerous regulatory hurdles for telemedicine technologies. The industry’s potential to help Texas patients and companies maximize access to care and reduce the cost of care is being held back by limitations imposed by regulators who accept the status quo as sufficient.”
Innovation in the health care sector, particularly the growth of telemedicine services, is providing opportunities for Texas to address its low physician supply, rising health care costs and poor health outcomes for residents. As many as one-third of medical issues now resolved in doctors’ offices, urgent care centers or emergency rooms may be amenable to telemedicine interventions. This alternative could increase access and save money for patients, employers and the state.
TAB concludes the report with the following recommendations for state policymakers:
- Ensure that standards of practice for telemedicine and in-person care are consistent with the end goal of increasing access to quality healthcare and lower consumer cost.
- Adopt a technology-neutral definition of telemedicine, which allows for patient choice and physician discretion in selecting the encounter with the technology they deem safe and appropriate.
- Only require a patient to be examined in-person or travel to a facility when medically necessary.
TAB’s telemedicine report is available to the public free of charge by CLICKING HERE.
For more information about the 2016 Texas Voter Survey on Telemedicine and 2016 TAB Member Survey on Telemedicine, visit: http://www.txbiz.org/advocacy/telemedicine/.
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