Florida lawmakers have passed a bill making telehealth more viable for patients in the Sunshine State.
The state’s House of Representatives unanimously approved HB 23, which previously passed 30-9 in the state Senate, sending it Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk. Pending his signature, the bill is scheduled to go into effect on July 1.
The bill creates a process for out-of-state telehealth providers to offer services in Florida by registering with the state Department of Health.
The changes are a boon for providers like eWellness Healthcare Corporation (OTCQB: EWLL), which offers telehealth physical therapy. The new bill will allow the California-based company with operations in the US and Canada to offer services in Florida and remotely diagnose patients with its PhizioFit exam.
HB 23 establishes a framework for telehealth in the state, defining it broadly as “the use of synchronous or asynchronous telecommunications technology by a telehealth provider to provide health care services.”
Asynchronous communications also allows providers to send their patients videos without having to communicate live. Additionally, physicians can also now use telehealth to make diagnoses without first having to evaluate patients in person, a departure from previous laws.
In some cases, such as the treatment of psychiatric disorders, inpatient hospital treatment, hospice patient care and nursing home residents, telehealth providers will be able to prescribe controlled substances.
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