Sunday, April 11, 2010

State Expands Telemedicine

Virginia’s Governor Bob McDonnell visited Virginia Commonwealth University’s Minimally Invasive Surgery Center to sign into law legislation expanding telemedicine coverage for the people in the state. The legislation (SB 675) makes certain that health insurers will cover and reimburse for healthcare services provided in the state through the use of telemedicine technologies.

SB 675 defined telemedicine services to mean the use of interactive audio, video, or other electronic media for the purpose of diagnosis, consultation, or treatment. Utilization review may be undertaken to determine the appropriateness of telemedicine services.

Speaking about the expansion of the access to telemedicine to the state, the Governor remarked: “Telemedicine can save both dollars and lives. This growing medical field utilizes modern technology to ensure that all Virginians are properly diagnosed and treated no matter where they live and that they are treated in a cost efficient manner.

Dr. Karen Rheuban, Medical Director University of Virginia Office of Telemedicine, a Board Member of the Center for Telemedicine Law, and President of the American Telemedicine Association, said “Information is the greatest medicine. A proper diagnosis provided in a timely manner can all too often be the difference in a positive or negative outcome. Unfortunately, doctors can’t be everywhere, and for a long time, geography proved to be one of the greatest impediments to proper care.”