Telemedicine On The Rise In Home Healthcare – Senator’s Bill Would Increase Use in Florida

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While the use of telemedicine has shown positive results with patients, many providers do not utilize it since it is generally not covered by private insurance. That could change as soon as next year. A bill filed by State Senator Arthenia Joyner (D-Tampa) would add Florida to the list of 20 states that currently mandate private plans to cover telemedicine, as well as have the state study how to best employ and regulate the technology. A 2006 study by professors at the University of Minnesota showed that when combined with traditional skilled nursing visits, patients who received telemedicine were discharged to higher levels of care (hospitals, nursing homes) 50% less than those who did not use the technology. In addition, the cost of a virtual visit was nearly 55% cheaper to provide than an in-person home visit. If passed, Senate Bill 70 could greatly assist private-duty providers with lowering their costs while improving outcomes for patients.

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