With all of this political talk buzzing around the U.S, it is not surprising that we are opening up the conversation of Telemedicine. Legislation’s Telemedicine bill sailed through the Mississippi House of Representatives and is now awaiting the Senate’s votes.
House Bill 1178 was approved by the lower chamber 103-17 and was sent to the Senate Public Health and Welfare for their votes. This House Bill details in 18 pages how to modernize our idea of telemedicine and help telemedicine services expand throughout the state, particularly in rural areas where healthcare is limited. Many have conflicting views about this House Bill and who it’s really helping, whether it be physicians or patients using the telemedicine technology.
With this controversy, Legislation requires that a telemedicine practitioner must be able to offer multiple forms of telemedicine services and cannot be solely telephone or audio services. However, ultimately a physician has final say as to whether video is necessary, depending on his or her interpretation of the standard of care. Research found that 95 percent of Teladoc patients request audio only and only 5 percent request video in addition, adding that in 7 percent of the cases, a Teladoc patient is referred to a physician for an office visit or to an emergency room.
It is a convenient method of Health and Medical care, not to mention the cost is attractive to most. Telemedicine visits average anywhere from $45-$49 per consultation/visit and the average wait is 12 minutes versus hours of waiting in hospital offices. It may not be for everyone, however, with the way that technology is expanding, it is time that we have more options when it applies to our health. We should not be limited by location, wealth, or situation when it comes down to getting the help we need.