Orlando Professional Liability: State Protecting Telemedicine

A Recent study suggests that telehealthcare programs are rising at growth rates of up to 50% in the next few years. Lawmakers and healthcare entities alike agree that telemedicine is a cost efficient means of managing rising patient quantities and providing efficient care for a wide variety of individuals. It also allows quick and efficient access to consultation from professionals and specialist around the world which can save significant time and money. Embracing the potential of telemedicine, Florida State officials are seeking to improve the future of healthcare for patients by creating regulations for telemedicine healthcare providers.

The proposed Florida Telemedicine Act was up for debate in the State Senate with mixed support.  The most highly debated aspect of the bill was the establishment of standards that would dictate how hospitals and emergency rooms consult with out-of-state doctors. The logic articulated by bill proponents is that a patient deserves the best access to professional care available regardless of their location; however opponents believed this would create accountability discrepancies, and Orlando Professional Liability claims, in the event of malpractice or mishap. The Florida Medical Association (FMA) opposed the bill, demanding that physicians practicing telemedicine on Florida patients hold a state license or telemedicine certificate so they would, therefore, be subject to discipline and evaluation by the Florida Board of Medicine.

The original versions permitted medical practitioners within a healthcare network who are licensed in their home state to provide specific services via telemedicine so long as they were resisted with Florida State. A proposed amendment to the bill would have allowed out-of-state, in-network doctors to consult on patient care. However, that revision was rejected in favor of adopting regulations requiring that telemedicine providers hold a Florida license to practice medicine and carry the same Orlando Professional Liability coverage as Florida professionals. The bill also successfully stipulated private insurance and Medicaid reimbursement for telemedicine services, which had nearly unanimous support from legislators as well as the medical community.

The risk of exposure to medical malpractice is extremely high in the healthcare industry. A 2013 Journal of Patient Safety report surmised that preventable medical errors could be the third-leading cause of death in America. This staggering statistic illustrates how essential Orlando professional liability coverage is to Florida healthcare practitioners.

At Newman Crane, we provide coverage for claims made against all healthcare professionals as a result of a negligent act, error, or omission in the performance of professional services. Our Professional Liability coverage and Errors and Omissions Insurance can help protect you against claims brought against you in your line of service. To find out more about how we can help protect healthcare professionals call us at (407)859-3691.

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