New California law makes it easier for patients to use telemedicine

 

A bill signed into law last week by California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) changes the state's telemedicine consent requirements, lowering the burden on patients and providers.

 

Under the new law, providers have to obtain written or verbal consent from patients for telemedicine treatment once and can apply that consent to all future visits, rather than being required to obtain consent each time. Additionally, consent no longer needs to be obtained from the originating site, meaning patients will be able to initiate telemedicine encounters regardless of location.

"This bill took the two-year route in the legislature and I think we produced something to be proud of," said Assemblyman Dan Logue (R-Marysville), the bill's sponsor. "We worked with multiple stakeholders on this bill and those seeking treatment through telehealth will be better off for it. Telehealth benefits everyone but those who benefit most are in rural areas like my district. When the nearest specialist is hundreds of miles away, telehealth becomes about more than convenience; it is about saving lives."

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