The California Telemedicine and eHealth Center, Sacramento, praised California Gov. Jerry Brown's signing of the Telehealth Advancement Act of 2011 (PDF)
The act, signed Oct. 7 by Brown, loosens requirements about who can provide care using telehealth—expanding eligibility to all licensed healthcare professionals—and makes it easier to provide such care through the state's Medicaid program and under certain circumstances for patients who have private insurance. Hospital credentialing for telehealth also was made easier, according to a CTEC news release
. The law drops the term "telemedicine" in favor of "telehealth."
The legislation passed with no opposition in the legislature and was supported by CTEC as well as the California State Rural Health Association, the Center for Connected Health Policy and the California Telehealth Network, all based in Sacramento.
"This legislation is vitally important not only for those that live in rural California, but all Californians," said Steve Barrow, executive director of the California State Rural Health Association, in the release. "Forcing people to wait for specialty care or making them leave home for long trips to get care is not necessary in modern times, with the new emerging technology and communications available today."