Telemedicine law adjusted

By Lucas Lloyd
TheStatehouseFile.com 

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana General Assembly is working on a bill that cleans-up governing language regarding telemedicine, a way for medical professionals to collect medical diagnosis and treatment through technological resources such as Skype.

Previous Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, signed a bill into law involving telemedicine practice standards last year. House Bill 1337, authored by Cindy Kirchhofer, R-Beech Grove, is an effort to fix some of the issues with that law.

“This addresses changes to the Medicaid statute concerning home medicine and clarifies language in act of last year concerning controlled substances,” said Kirchhofer.

Controlled substances are not able to be prescribed under current law through telemedicine. These changes to the law would allow for those prescriptions, but limits opioid prescriptions to specific cases where the person needs the opioid to manage or treat opioid dependnece.

Vanessa Summers, D-Indianapolis, was one of three representatives who voted against the bill. Summers said she generally does not feel comfortable with this type of legislation yet.

“I think people should have personal communication in the same room with a doctor,” said Summers. “I don’t want to get away from the personal patient doctor relationship that people have.”

The House passed the bill with a 91-3 vote and will move onto the Senate.

Lucas Lloyd is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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