Docs, vendors pursue common ground for telehealth regulation in Texas

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After years of legal wrangling over telemedicine regulation in Texas, representatives of healthcare organizations and telemedicine companies met this week to hash out a compromise, according to the Texas Tribune.

Lobbyists described the closed-door meeting as a discussion on "modernizing our telemedicine statutes and reducing the regulatory footprint governing the provision of telemedicine services," the article said. 

Last year, lawmakers passed a requirement that patients must meet face to face with a physician before the use of telemedicine to prescribe medications. The Texas Medical Board and telemedicine provider Teledoc have been arguing in court since 2011 over that in-person requirement.

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Tom Banning, chief executive of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians, described the meeting as a result of "thawing of tensions" between doctors and telemedicine vendors, the Tribune reported. That's been attributed to new technologies that have made remote doctor-patient interaction easier.

The groups reportedly are looking at Indiana's law as a model: It does not require an initial in-person visit as long as remote telemedicine consultations meet certain standards of care.

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