Health IT Outcomes
January 2, 2017 – Michigan lawmakers have unanimously passed a bill requiring physicians “consult with a patient or obtain the patient’s consent” prior to providing telehealth services, according to mHealth Intelligence. The bill, S.B. 753, now heads to Governor Rick Snyder’s office for approval and will take effect 90 days after it is signed into law. One of critics biggest concerns of the rise of telehealth services has been it undermines the traditional doctor-patient relationship and lowers the quality of care for patients. This bill is one step toward ensuring standards are not relaxed for patients receiving remote care. S.B. 753 was introduced last February by State Senator Peter MacGregor, who said, “This is a commonsense healthcare reform for a modern age. Society has never been more connected, yet a patient’s ability to see a medical professional is becoming more and more constrained as hospital wait times grow. This bill would help improve access to care, which could lead to healthier patient outcomes. “Telehealth could transform healthcare in Michigan. It allows healthcare professionals to extend their reach beyond a corner office to meet patients where they are. It enhances access to and use of healthcare in our state, reduces costs encourages competition and, most importantly, could lead to healthier lives.” The bill was supported by a number of groups including the Michigan Association of Health Plans, the Michigan Council of Nurse Practitioners, Spectrum Health, and Ascension Michigan.