Telemedicine defined in bill headed for governor

By Tory Cooney

The House voted 127-0 Thursday to define telemedicine and specify that health care providers working with patients remotely are subject to the same professional standards as those working with patients in person.

HF1314/SF1353*, sponsored by Rep. Matt Dean (R-Dellwood) and Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Vernon Center), would cover professional standards both regarding practice and conduct and services that can be provided via telemedicine including assessment, diagnosis, treatment, education and care management.

The bill would also clarify that “telemedicine” refers to real-time, two-way interactive audio, visual and audio-visual communications — like secure video conferencing, said Rep. Nick Zerwas (R-Elk River).

A telephone conversation, email or fax between licensed health care providers would not count as telemedicine consultation or service.

Rep. Matt Dean

The Senate passed the bill 63-0 on May 4. It now goes to Gov. Mark Dayton.

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