On January 22, 2015, two Senators filed a telemedicine bill that could help expand telemedicine in Florida. The proposed bill provides hope to telemedicine supporters that a bill may pass in 2015. Lawmakers considered several proposed bills in 2014; however, they were unable to reach agreement and pass a law on the issue last year.
The proposed Senate bill authorizes emergency medical technicians, paramedics and health care practitioners to provide telemedicine services to Florida residents. Telemedicine services are defined as services that include patient assessment, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, monitoring, and the transfer of medical data. The proposed bill also provides that telemedicine services will be covered by Medicaid. If the bill passes, rules may be adopted by the department for emergency medical technicians and paramedics, health care practitioners who are not subject to regulation by a board, as well as by any applicable health care practitioner board, such as the Florida Department of Health.
Lawmakers will consider the proposed Senate bill during the legislative session that starts on March 3, 2015.