Texas Senate Bill 1107 was signed into law on May 27, 2017, bringing welcome change to the rules governing telemedicine benefits in Texas that are comparable to those in other states. Some significant changes include: (i) a physician-patient relationship can be established without in-person contact or the presence of another healthcare provider with the patient during the telemedicine visit through the use of live or delayed audio/video, and (ii) a telemedicine provider may write prescriptions for the patient as a result of the telemedicine visit. The use of delayed audio/video (e.g., a recorded video sent via email) is permitted when the telemedicine provider reviews the patient’s medical records or other relevant material. The appropriate standard of care for a telemedicine benefit is the same as for inpatient physician visits, and telemedicine providers must inform patients about appropriate follow-up care. Senate Bill 1107 directs certain state agencies to jointly issue rules related to telemedicine and prescriptions.

Senate Bill 1107 is generally effective immediately, with certain changes to the Texas Insurance Code effective January 1, 2018.