With technology growing at an ever increasing exponential rate; patients and providers alike are seeing astonishing improvements being made in the medical field thanks to telemedicine. New Jersey is of the latest to expand the state’s telemedicine regulations; making it easier than ever for patients in New Jersey to get the care they need. The state senate has recently begun the process to regulate telemedicine. Senate Health Committee chairman and bill sponsor Senator Joe Vitale, stated to reporters, telemedicine is “expanding the universe of care for millions of Americans. In New Jersey, we have an opportunity to get this working the right way.”
This bill would require:
• Insurance companies to reimburse telemedicine appointments at the same rate as in-person visits.
• Doctors to meet with the patient in person before prescriptions are written.
• The state Board of Medical Examiners to create the specific telemedicine rules.
Already, 31 states have approved regulations for telemedicine services, for a state with such a large health-care presence; New Jersey is a little late. With the health-care field having trouble catching up due to a “better late than never” attitude, many patients are left in the cold with inadequate treatment. At this point in the game, telemedicine should have a much larger presence in the state. With such a high demand for quality health care that is affordable and efficient, telemedicine has become an amazing tool for health care providers to expand the quality of care given to their patients. Telemedicine has been improving the level of care for patients suffering from chronic conditions, those receiving preventative medicine treatments, those who live in rural areas and who do not live near quality health-care, as well as so many others. With so many people benefiting from using telemedicine, you would think this bill would pass as soon as it was read by Governor Chris Christie. However there is some opposition to the telemedicine bills. The insurance industry does not believe telemedicine visits should be billed at the same rate as regular office visits.