Texas Gov. signs telemedicine bill: 5 things to know

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, R, this weekend signed Senate Bill 1107, expanding patients' access to video telemedicine services throughout the state, according to the Politico Morning eHealth newsletter.

Here are five things to know.

1. The bill added video to Texas' definition of telemedicine and does not require another clinician to be present with the patient during a remote visit — which means direct-to-consumer companies can expand their reach, according to Politico.

2. The new bill makes Texas the last state to remove a requirement that patients establish an in-person relationship with their provider before receiving telemedicine services, Politico reports.

3. Under Senate Bill 1107, physicians can treat patients via video consultation, provided they take previous medical records and test results into account, according to Dallas Morning News. These services will be paid for and reimbursed the same as in-person medical visits.

4. Teladoc and the Texas Medical Board were embroiled in a six-year legal battle over telemedicine legislation. Teladoc entered the Texas market in 2005, according to Politico, but the medical board restricted telemedicine services in 2011, Dallas Morning News reports.

5. Teladoc on May 19 vowed to expand its capabilities in Texas upon Mr. Abbott signing the bill into law.

"Teladoc undertook the responsibility to preserve access to telemedicine in Texas more than six years ago, and we are gratified to have been the telehealth company invited to collaborate with the Texas legislature and others in the state to accomplish this laudable goal," Teladoc CEO Jason Gorevic said in a news release.

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