Telehealth – the use of technology to expand health care access to all Floridians – is finally receiving legislative support as lawmakers consider efforts to cut red tape and allow more healthcare providers to offer routine visits and check-ups via computers, telephones, and smartphone apps.
Florida TaxWatch has been a leader in bringing this issue to the forefront. For more on our recommendations regarding telehealth, click here.
Today, the Senate Health Policy committee approved Senate Bill 1686, marking a significant step for expanding telehealth in the state. Last year, not one single bill addressing telehealth passed through the Legislature.
“We are extremely pleased that the Legislature has decided to take action on expanding telehealth. Telehealth is critical in providing more high-quality, affordable health care to all Floridians,” said Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic Calabro. “Florida TaxWatch will continue to educate and recommend to lawmakers the benefits of telehealth during the Legislative Session.”
Florida TaxWatch research has found that the expansion of telehealth would offer significant benefits to Florida. Telehealth expansion would increase access to quality care, particularly for low-income and rural areas, and can also be used as an innovative tool to reduce costly medical interventions such as emergency room utilization and length of hospital stay. Based on Florida data from 2012-2013, if the expansion of telehealth could reduce these interventions by even 1%, the state would realize a cost-savings of more than $1 billion.