Healthcare Business News

Regional News/South: Florida docs cite poll in fight against telemedicine bill

By Andis Robeznieks
Posted: February 22, 2014 - 12:01 am ET

The Florida Medical Association, seeking to bolster its case against a telemedicine bill being considered in the state Legislature, released results of a survey showing Floridians are opposed to doctors licensed in other states treating Florida patients via telemedicine.

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“Florida patients are strongly opposed, as is the FMA, to allowing out-of-state physicians and practitioners who are not licensed in Florida to not only practice telemedicine, but to prescribe drugs and controlled substances over the Internet,” Timothy Stapleton, FMA executive vice president, said in a news release. “The FMA supports the use of telemedicine and will work tirelessly to ensure that high standards, protections against fraud, and patient privacy are addressed in any legislation.”

Of the poll's 606 respondents, 57% strongly oppose and 13% somewhat oppose allowing out-of-state doctors licensed in other states to treat Florida patients via telemedicine. Ten percent strongly favored allowing the practice and 16% somewhat favored it.

Tomball, Texas-based Voter Consumer Research conducted the survey Feb. 1-5. The poll also found that Floridians overwhelmingly oppose out-of-state doctors prescribing medicines or controlled substances. And they oppose having nonphysician healthcare providers practice telemedicine.

The Florida Telemedicine Act would create licensure and registration requirements and regulate private insurance and Medicaid reimbursement.

Follow Andis Robeznieks on Twitter: @MHARobeznieks

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