Government

Telehealth, transparency move forward in House

Photo credit: Alex Proimos/flckr

A House panel Monday approved a pair of bills aimed at increasing the use of “telehealth” to remotely provide medical services and at offering greater transparency in health-care costs.

The House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee unanimously passed the measures (HB 7087 and HB 1175), both sponsored by Rep. Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor.

The House and Senate during the past two years have failed to reach agreement on a bill about telehealth, which involves using technology for doctors and other providers to offer care to patients remotely.

In part, the bill would allow out-of-state health-care providers to use telehealth for Florida patients if the providers register with the state Department of Health.

Lawmakers also are considering transparency bills this year as Gov. Rick Scott has repeatedly criticized hospital costs. The House bill would require contracting for a database to allow patients to search for information about prices and quality of care.

Both bills will have to go through the House Health & Human Services Committee before they can reach the House floor.