Texas had a change of hearts in terms of telehealth, and as a result of the new bill — Teladoc decided to expand its telehealth offering in the state, re-activating its industry-leading video capabilities. Senate Bill 1107 will soon be signed into law, establishing the Lone Star State as a leader in telemedicine and thus marking the close of Teladoc’s six-year legal dispute in the state regarding the proper scope and use of telemedicine.
“Teladoc undertook the responsibility to preserve access to telemedicine in Texas more than six years ago, and we are gratified to have been the telehealth company invited to collaborate with the Texas legislature and others in the state to accomplish this laudable goal,” Teladoc CEO Jason Gorevic said in a statement. “Our commitment to the state and its citizens has never wavered, and we now look forward to reactivating our industry-leading video capabilities and ending our legal dispute in the state of Texas.”
Under this new law a patient-physician relationship can be established without an in-person visit, protecting all forms of telemedicine.
Teladoc has operated in the state continuously since 2005; more than 3 million Texans have access to Teladoc, and the company’s more than 2,500 Texas clients include Michaels, Rent-A-Center, and BNSF Railway.
Thirty-five counties in Texas have no family physician and Texas ranks 46th among the 50 states in terms of primary care physicians per capita, with only 71.4 PCPs per 100,000 residents. Telemedicine has been an effective tool to help the state begin to overcome these challenges.