help for fear of unknown costs & travel.
Telemedicine decreases medical costs dramatically and transparently it also allows rural patients to get care in their community or home.
SB1089 would expand telemedicine
options to all insured services.
Wait, what is Telemedicine?
Simply, it’s getting medical services via video or phone or some other electronic means, from someone who isn’t in the room with you. Telemedicine is effective because it means anyone can take advantage of all the medical expertise outside of your community, rather than just the best your community has to offer. In plenty of rural areas, there isn’t enough medical staff to help everyone, and even in bigger communities, telemedicine may mean faster access or expanded access to help.
Why Should I Care About Telemedicine?
Even when insured, many people go without care because they simply can’t predict the costs of their care. Even worse, in rural areas, it often means traveling outside your community, which compounds costs by requiring transportation, lodging, etc. By providing care in the communities that need it via video, phone, or internet app, patients are more likely to be able to stay in their communities, meaning lower predictable costs. It also means access to specialists your community may not have, increasing your access to care, and access to many more caregivers, meaning faster care.
I don’t live in Rural Arizona, why Should I care?
Because the same law will allow urban/suburban patients access to these same telemedicine services, increasing options and reducing costs.
Doing nothing means patients will continue to avoid care due to unpredictable costs and travel, and long wait times- act now.
On January 16, 2019, Senate Bill 1089 was introduced into legislation seeking expanded access to telemedicine services across Arizona. In recent history, Arizona’s statutory list of telemedicine services private insurers must cover has grown; however, the current law limits telemedicine coverage to 10 specialties. With the proposed legislation, any healthcare service covered in-person by a commercial insurer will also be covered when provided through telemedicine.
Telemedicine – or telehealth – is the process by which patients can receive medical information and care through various electronic means from a remote practitioner, making medical and clinical expertise more convenient and accessible than ever before. It also allows patients to access specialty services that that otherwise would not be offered in their community.
Telemedicine coverage of all health services by commercial insurers, known as ‘full telemedicine parity,’ exists in at least 23 other states and Washington, DC, and helps to bring critical health care resources to more communities, particularly in rural areas.