Telehealth Bill Irks FMA

A Florida House bill that would promote “telehealth” – patient care from a distance – passed a key committee Monday by a unanimous vote. It provoked an outcry from the Florida Medical Association.

The bill, (HB 751), would allow patients to be diagnosed and treated from afar using high-quality video linkups without requiring clinicians to first get a Florida license, a time-consuming and expensive chore. As long as the practitioners were licensed in their home state and registered with the state of Florida, the bill would let them practice telehealth.

That, says Florida Medical Association contract lobbyist David Custin, would be dangerous. So would the fact that nurse practitioners and other non-doctors would be included, he said.  “This is not commerce; we’re not selling widgets,” Custin said. “This is health care. It’s different, okay? There are reasons there are protections in statute.”

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