Archived Story

Lori backs telemedicine bill

Published 12:03am Thursday, April 19, 2012

Doctors and patients will be covered by insurance if they use a high-tech process of diagnosing and treating medical issues under legislation approved by the Michigan House.
House Bills 5408 and 5421, sponsored by Reps. Gail Haines, R-Waterford, and Matt Lori, R-Constantine, allow the use of telemedicine for medical diagnosis, care and education.
Telemedicine uses information technology such as transmission of medical imaging and health informatics data between sites to communicate between patients and medical staff.
“Technology exists that can save money for hard-working taxpayers by allowing them to leave hospital care and return home earlier than they would in a more traditional care setting,” Haines said. “Electronic media would enable physicians to treat patients who are recovering in their own homes, and it’s time we took advantage of the full potential this technology offers.”
Lori said the availability of telemedicine coverage will most benefit those who live in rural areas.
“Patients who live far from their local hospital will be able to receive quality health care without being burdened with the consequences of travel, including the recent high fuel prices,” Lori said. “It’s just common sense that services already allowed by Medicaid should also be permitted by private insurers.”
The bills now head to the Senate for consideration.

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