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.”