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Telemedicine Bill Goes To Pence For Final Approval

Many health facilities are trying to balance availability with cost.

Lawmakers in both chambers Tuesday approved a bill that expands Indiana’s “telemedicine” services.

Telemedicine is health care delivered remotely. Doctors and patients can use, for instance, a video-conference instead of a face-to-face appointment.

Lawmakers this session are expanding its use by allowing doctors, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses and optometrists to write some prescriptions via telemedicine. They can’t write prescriptions for controlled substances, drugs such as oxycodone and morphine.

But some legislators still balked at how far the bill went, and the measure’s author says the final product provided more limitations.

“No vision provider can provide glasses or contacts online via telemedicine,” says Republican bill author Rep. Cindy Kirchofer.

The final bill also subjects telemedicine providers located out of the state to Indiana’s laws and jurisdiction, so if a Hoosier patient sues an Ohio doctor who provided them telemedicine services, that case would go to an Indiana court.

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