Group Says Fla. Residents Oppose Telehealth by Out-of-State Doctors

February 22, 2014 in News

As it continues to fight a telemedicine bill being considered in the Florida Legislature, the Florida Medical Association on Wednesday released a report showing that Florida residents are opposed to allowing physicians licensed in other states to treat Floridians using telemedicine, Modern Healthcare reports.

The Florida Telemedicine Act (SPB 7028) would:

  • Create requirements for physician licensure and registration; and
  • Regulate private insurance and Medicaid reimbursement.

Details of Report

A poll — which was conducted from Feb. 1 to Feb. 5 by Voter Consumer Research — included 606 state residents.

The poll found that:

  • 57% of respondents strongly opposed allowing out-of-state physicians to treat Florida patients via telemedicine;
  • 13% somewhat opposed allowing out-of-state physicians to treat Florida patients via telemedicine;
  • 16% somewhat supported allowing out-of-state physicians to treat Florida patients using telemedicine; and
  • 10% strongly supported allowing out-of-state physicians to treat Florida patients using telemedicine.

FMA Comments  

In a release, FMA Executive Vice President Timothy Stapleton said, “Florida patients are strongly opposed, as is the FMA, to allowing out-of-state physicians and practitioners who are not licensed in Florida to not only practice telemedicine, but to prescribe drugs and controlled substances over the internet.”

In addition, FMA spokesperson Erin VanSickle said, “FMA is opposed to the bill as drafted,” adding, “We look forward to working with lawmakers to craft legislation that protects patient safety and privacy, and ensures fair reimbursement for physicians” (Robeznieks, Modern Healthcare, 2/20).

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