Snyder Signs Bills To Promote Access To Telemedicine

LANSING — Gov. Rick Snyder’s office last week announced he had signed to legislation designed to harness technology for the best delivery of medical information and services.

House Bills 5408 and 5421, sponsored by state Reps. Gail Haines, R-Lake Angelus, and Matt Lori, R-Constantine, require health insurance providers to recognize claims for health services delivered by telemedicine methods.

Telemedicine uses telecommunications technology such as computer, Internet and telephone to connect physicians and patients, providing the best available care regardless of physical location. This allows for easier home maintenance of chronic conditions and promotes access for underserved populations.

“Telemedicine offers an incredible opportunity to easily provide health care to Michigan’s elderly, disabled and rural communities,” Snyder said. “I applaud the Legislature’s initiative to use technology to save lives.”

The bills passed with unanimous support in both chambers and earned the support of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Michigan Association of Health Plans, Priority Health and numerous other organizations.

The bills now are Public Acts 214 and 215 of 2012.

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