Telemedicine is a growing practice that has the huge potential to improve access to healthcare for Hoosiers in under-served areas and help alleviate doctor shortages. A 2013 study by analytics firm IHS projects that, by 2018, telemedicine will be a $1.9 billion industry serving 3.2 million patients.
Along with these benefits, using telecommunications technology to remotely diagnose and treat patients carries potential risks. District 48 State Senator Mark Messmer of Jasper says without proper oversight, bad actors could engage in over prescribing drugs and other dangerous medical practices, or out-of-state individuals could scam patients for money.
State Senator Messmer says during this past year’s legislative session, the General Assembly passed House Enrolled Act 1263, which gives the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency the ability to adopt rules and a general framework to put telemedicine into effect here in Indiana.
This law also requires written records of each service provided so the patient’s primary physician will be kept in the loop on what care the patient received.
State Senator Messmer says written records also hold providers accountable, should any disciplinary action become necessary.
State Senator Messmer says Telemedicine is a rapidly growing industry, and this law helps limit any potential risks patients could face. With this law, Hoosiers can be assured of getting the benefits of telemedicine without worrying about a diminished quality of care.
Of course feel free to contact Messmer’s office directly with your questions and concerns by email at Senator.Messmer@iga.in.gov or by phone at 800-382-9467.