Texas Senate eases telemedicine requirements — Will other states follow suit?

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The Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 1107, which extends telemedicine's use in the state, according to Houston Business Journal.

Here's what you should note:

1. Through the bill, patients do not need to undergo an in-person consultation before forming a physician-patient relationship through telehealth services.

2. Providers can use an audio-video telecommunications platform. If the provider has access to the patient's EHR or other clinically relevant photographic and video images, they can connect with a patient via a phone call.

3. The legislation requires Texas Medical Board, Texas Board of Nursing, Texas Physician Assistant Board and Texas State Board of Pharmacy to all adopt the rules and responses to frequently asked questions when issuing a prescription for a telemedicine visit.

4. Senate Bill 1107 restricts providers from using telehealth services to prescribe "an abortifacient or any other drug or device that terminates a pregnancy."

5. State providers await a companion bill that is pending in the Texas House.

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