Griffin Mulcahey, VP of Strategy & General Counsel at Direct Health
Finally, Texas physicians, healthcare practitioners and consumers can establish new patient relationships via telemedicine.
Over the weekend, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill into law, changing the face of telemedicine in the state.
With Abbott’s signature on Senate Bill 1107, physicians can now utilize telemedicine services with patients they haven’t met in person. This quashes an earlier requirement that physician-patient relationships had to be established with an in-person visit first.
Texas was the final state holdout on telemedicine access. Now that it’s abolished, Texas physicians can connect directly with Texas consumers for virtual care.
This is great news for the health of Texans and the Texas medical community.
The new law is huge a win for residents of Texas, where access to healthcare — especially in rural areas — continues to be a challenge. Texas ranks 46th out of the 50 states in terms of primary care physicians per capita, as there are only 71.4 PCPs per every 100,000 people. Additionally, 35 of Texas’ 254 counties don’t have a family physician.
The law is also an incredible opportunity for Texas providers. One of Direct Health’s users, Dr. Thomas Kim, an internist and psychiatrist in Austin and a long time telemedicine advocate, is excited for the bright future ahead for providers that adopt virtual care.
“It’s possible to use the latest remote technology and maintain strong doctor-patient relationships.” He’s done it for years. Being a virtual care physician has allowed Dr. Kim to make a living working from home for a decade while treating patients remotely and overseeing care teams throughout Texas.
This type of work life balance is unheard of in traditional care delivery. The future of healthcare is here.
Now Texas physicians have the chance to add virtual care as a business tool to improve patient access to care, improve outcomes, and save patients time and money with unnecessary ER or urgent care visits.
Griffin Mulcahey, General Counsel and VP of Strategy for Direct Health. Disclaimer – Direct Health’s opinions on the use of its platform are not legal opinions. We recommend anyone seek local counsel for any specific questions regarding the health regulatory landscape of your home jurisdiction
If you enjoyed this article be sure to check out, Texas Telemedicine Bills Clear Path Forward
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