Teladoc to Expand Services After Telemedicine Bill Passes

Lewisville-based Teladoc Inc., a telehealth company providing on-demand healthcare, plans to expand its telehealth services in Dallas-Fort Worth and Texas following the recent passage of Senate Bill 1107 by Governor Abbott last Saturday. The measure, which deems telemedicine to be a viable source of care, allows Teladoc to reactivate its video capabilities to vet and examine patients.

The measure, passed by the House and Senate on May 11 and 18, respectively, and sent to the governor on May 19, allows patient-physician relationships to be established without an initial in-person visit. The bill will become law immediately upon signature, except Section 13b regarding the insurance code, which will go into effect Jan. 1, 2018.  S.B. 1107 effectively protects the right of companies to practice and provide telemedicine services in Texas. Teladoc, which has operated in North Texas since 2005, currently has 2,500 clients statewide.

The Lewisville company was invited to collaborate with the Texas Legislature and other telemedicine experts in drafting the bill. According to Teladoc, telemedicine regulations were “thoroughly examined and debated.” The company hopes the bill’s success will serve as a bellwether for other states wary of telehealth services, showing that remote-care models can improve the U.S. healthcare system, starting in DFW and Texas.

In a statement, Teladoc CEO Jason Gorevic said the company “undertook the responsibility to preserve access to telemedicine in Texas more than six years ago.”

In an interview with D CEO Healthcare, Gorevic added, “Thanks to a collaborative effort, Texans can now count on the right to access all virtual healthcare options to get quality care when and where they need it. … Now, whether they are in a remote part of the state or in the DFW area, Texans can count on innovation and access to care for a growing range of medical conditions.”

Posted in Medical Services, News.
  • Congrats to Jason Gorevic, Teladoc and sensible TX lawmakers for finally reversing years of politically-induced Stone Age regulation. Texas of all places, with vast under-served rural communities, now has greater opportunity for patient equality, improved clinical care. I hope this serves notice to other states, and nations, wishing to impose similar restrictions.

  • thomas allen

    Telemedicine is at best only a fair practice of medicine. What this means is people will be hurt from this system. More complex diagnosis will be missed and mortality and morbidity will rise with this medium of care. The lack of face to face encounter allows the doctor to become desensitized to the fact that they are dealing with a real patient. The casualness of this encounter and the lack of diagnostic tools will put pressure on the doctor to solve problems without the aid of many of the tools supplied in a real doctors office. This will inevitably lead to error and put the patients at risk. This method will likely work fine for large part of the population but a significant percentage of patients will come to harm with this system that would have not otherwise. Also you can bet insurance companies will sing the praises of telemedicine since it is so much cheaper for them. Bottom line patients beware, this is no substitute for real medicine and sets a dangerous precedent for this pseudomedicine to disrupts the checks and balances of seeing a doctor in their office or at other medical facilities.