April 11, 2017

House Sends Telemedicine Expansion Bill To Governor

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer (R-Beech Grove) discusses her telemedicine bill in a Senate committee hearing. - Brandon Smith/IPB

Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer (R-Beech Grove) discusses her telemedicine bill in a Senate committee hearing.

Brandon Smith/IPB

House lawmakers voted to send a bill to the governor that expands Indiana’s telemedicine services, though some legislators are still uncomfortable with that expansion.

The telemedicine bill expands those remote care services to Indiana’s Medicaid patients. And it lifts a ban on prescribing certain controlled substances via telemedicine, such as Ritalin and Adderall.

That comes at the request of psychiatrists – which Rep. Steve Davisson (R-Salem) says is important because it helps address a critical need.

“Sometimes in the rural areas they don’t have access to psychiatrists in their local locations, so that’s why they’re trying to be able to get some of this mental health through the telemedicine programs,” Davisson says.

But Rep. Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis) says he’s doesn’t like the idea of children getting those sorts of prescriptions via telemedicine.

“I’m very concerned that this would allow somebody out-of-state to prescribe a controlled substance in this state to someone they’ve never laid eyes on,” DeLaney says.

Under the bill, the patient must be examined in-person by a health care provider before the prescription can be given.

The bill passed 84 to 7 and now goes to the governor for his signature.

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