telehealth

Doctors are in short supply, but a new partnership could help patients get a quicker appointment - at their grocery store.

In the coming months, BayCare Health System will be creating "telehealth" centers at  Publix Super Markets in the Tampa Bay area.

Consultations with doctors by phone or video conference appear to be catching on, with well over a million virtual visits reported in 2015.

Tele-health Bill Passes House Subcommittee

Feb 16, 2017

Under a tele-health bill approved by the House Subcommittee on Health Quality, advanced registered nurse practitioners would be able to practice independently of doctors. The measure is raising some concerns.

A new state telehealth panel met in Jacksonville Tuesday to begin studying the state of distance medicine in Florida.


Florida’s health regulators announced the appointment of 13 health care professionals to a board tasked with assessing the viability of telemedicine.

The taskforce will recommend solutions for reimbursing doctors who use distance medicine technology to treat patients.


Updated 4 p.m. 7/27

A committee tasked with investigating the best way to implement telemedicine in Florida is starting to take shape.

A 15-member panel mandated by a law passed last January should be in place next year.


Office Chatter: Your Doctor Will See You In This Telemedicine Kiosk

Jun 21, 2016
Phil Galewitz/Kaiser Health News

On the day abdominal pain and nausea struck Jessica Christianson at the office, she discovered how far telemedicine has come.

Rushing to a large kiosk in the lobby of the Palm Beach County School District’s administrative building where she works, Christianson, 29, consulted a nurse practitioner in Miami via two-way video. The nurse examined her remotely, using a stethoscope and other instruments connected to the computer station. Then, she recommended Christianson seek an ultrasound elsewhere to check for a possible liver problem stemming from an intestinal infection.

Health Care Providers Not Waiting For Telehealth Bill

Apr 11, 2016
Nemours Children's Hospital- YouTube

Gov. Rick Scott has a few more days left to sign a bill that would create a statewide telehealth advisory council, but health care providers aren't waiting.

Lawmakers OK Deeper Look At Telehealth

Mar 13, 2016
Mayo Clinic

The House on Friday gave final approval to a bill that calls for research and recommendations about the use of "telehealth" in Florida.

'Telehealth' Bill Bounces Back To House

Mar 7, 2016
Nemours Children's Hospital- YouTube

A day after the House approved a bill aimed at expanding the use of "telehealth" in Florida, the Senate on Thursday scaled back the proposal.

Series Of Health Care Bills Poised To Pass House

Mar 2, 2016

After the issues sailed through committees, the House is poised to pass a series of bills dealing with health-care regulations.

House Ready To Take Up Health Care Agenda

Feb 29, 2016

With Republican leaders pushing for major changes in the health-care system, the House will take up a series of high-profile health issues during a floor session Tuesday.

Telehealth, Transparency Move Forward In House

Feb 9, 2016
Mayo Clinic

A House panel Monday approved a pair of bills aimed at increasing the use of "telehealth" to remotely provide medical services and at offering greater transparency in health-care costs.

Transparency, 'Telehealth' Bills Moving In House

Jan 21, 2016
myfloridahouse.gov

Continuing to look for different approaches to health care, a House committee Wednesday approved bills that would require more transparency about medical costs and seek to expand the use of "telehealth."

Nemours Children's Hospital- YouTube

With just a few clicks of the mouse, Orlando mom Alyssa Grimes visits with a pediatrician from the comfort of her living room. She logs into a Skype-like application on her laptop, where she virtually meets her child's doctor based across town at Nemours Children's Hospital.

A Senate panel on health care spending approved a telehealth bill on Tuesday, but the issue may not be put on the agenda for the House Committee on Health and Human Services, according to Christine Jordan Sexton of SaintPetersblog.

Two amendments were added to the Senate bill: one that allowed for advanced nurse practitioners to order controlled substance for patients in hospitals and another that added behavior analysts to the list of approved telemedicine practitioners.

If you can’t get to the doctor, it could become easier for the doctor to come to you. That’s the point of telemedicine, which connects physicians to patients through video conferencing.  A compromise worked out with various hospitals, and physician organizations has cleared the way for a telemedicine proposal to get through the legislature.

'Telehealth' Compromise Moving Closer

Feb 18, 2015
Florida Senate

 Key senators said Tuesday they are moving closer to agreement with the House on a plan to bolster the use of telemedicine --- or, as lawmakers call it, "telehealth."

The Senate Health Policy Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved a telemedicine bill (SB 478) that included changes intended to bring the Senate and House versions closer together.

Senate Health Panel Tries Again on Telemedicine

Feb 4, 2015
Florida Senate

Pointing to a need to increase access to health care in areas such as rural communities, a bipartisan group of House and Senate leaders Tuesday expressed confidence they will reach agreement this year on a plan to boost the use of telemedicine in Florida.

Sometimes called "telehealth," telemedicine involves using the Internet and other technology to provide care to patients remotely.

As a basic example, a physician could use a video link to consult with a patient who is at home.

Wikimedia Commons

Walgreen is testing a new telemedicine service that lets patients see a doctor without leaving home or visiting any of the drugstore chain's clinics.

The Deerfield, Illinois, company said Monday that patients in California or Michigan can now contact a physician around the clock through Walgreen's mobile application for smartphones or tablet computers.

MDLive, which is based in Sunrise, is partnering with the retail pharmacy giant on the project.

Telemedicine to Be Revisited Next Session

Dec 2, 2014
Lynn Hatter
WFSU

Florida lawmakers appear ready to reignite talks on the future of telemedicine.  The issue of how to handle doctors who treat patients remotely was jumbled into a larger health-related bill, which contributed to its defeat last session.

Florida TaxWatch’s Tamara Demko says lawmakers need to pare down their goals for addressing telemedicine in the state.

“So, limiting the scope of legislation to things that are realistic and palatable will help avoid the same fate this legislative session," she says, referring to the telemedicine bill's defeat earlier this year.

HealthSpot

There was a time when you got sick, you waited to see the family physician.

But then came the "Doc In A Box" clinics, where you went without an appointment, at night and on weekends. And it only got easier when mini-clinics began popping up in neighborhood pharmacies.

Well, these convenient medical visits are taking the next step. Clinic "kiosks" will soon be connecting Floridians and physicians via video screens and interactive tools.

The two biggest health initiatives of the Florida House for 2014-15 both died at the hands of the Senate during the final 36 hours of this year's legislative session, which ended around 10:30 Friday night.

They were:

--Allowing nurse practitioners who have sufficient training to practice independently of physician supervision;

--Setting up a structure under the law for the growth of distance health care through  telemedicine or telehealth, terms used at various times during the session.

Leaders of the Florida House, hoping to protect their pet health issues from being picked apart in the Senate,  have bundled them into a package to be introduced Thursday morning. In legislative parlance, they're creating a "train."

The idea of a train is that it's a bunch of railcars that are connected and it would be hard to remove one of them without causing them all to derail. As a practical matter, it means some lawmakers might have to accept a bill they don't like in order to get one that's a must-pass.

A Senate bill that would increase the use of telemedicine and establish requirements for health providers who treat patients remotely remains in play in Florida’s Legislature.

A companion bill is also making its way through the House, but that bill doesn't require doctors to have a Florida license — only that they be licensed in their home state and registered in Florida.

A report published this month by the non-profit Florida TaxWatch predicts significant cost savings if Florida removes the barriers to telemedicine.

The policy group's report said Florida could save more than $1 billion a year by expanding the use of telemedicine by revising current law. It criticizes policies that discourage use of telemedicine, specifically the limitations on private reimbursement requirements and Medicaid payments.

A Florida House bill that would promote "telehealth" - patient care from a distance - passed a key committee Monday by a unanimous vote. It provoked an outcry from the Florida Medical Association.

The Florida Legislature’s plan to create new telemedicine standards is focusing on insurance reimbursements and licensing requirements, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Mayo Clinic

Florida lawmakers say they have to expand access to doctors now that millions of uninsured people in the state are set to gain health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. One tool they may encourage is  telemedicine.

But there's a problem, as state Rep. Cary Pigman explains: Insurers don't pay for it. It's not that they can't, they just don't. Neither does Medicare.

The newest wave in health care may be as close as your computer.  More hospitals and doctors are using technology, such as Skype, to treat patients, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.  This can benefit patients who live too far from needed specialists, as well as allowing doctors to consult colleagues when dealing with complex cases.