We may still be barely into the new year, but already state legislatures throughout the country have been busy—including when it comes to telemedicine-related bills. The latest state to consider telehealth legislation: Georgia, where the state Senate this past week unanimously passed two bills that, if signed into law, would significantly expand telehealth practice in the state. While one bill would facilitate treatment via telemedicine by patients in other states, the other would expand reimbursement, formally define “telehealth,” and take other steps to make Georgia a more telehealth-friendly state.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia will soon end reimbursements for non-urgent ER visits, and is asking members to instead use the insurer’s telehealth platform or visit the nearest urgent care or retail clinic.
The secret is out. Georgia has become a hotbed for health IT (HIT) companies, both veteran and startup. Georgia holds down the nation’s top spot with more than 225 HIT companies, nine of which have cumulative revenues of close to $5 billion. There are several reasons why.
Turner Taliaferro Smith, III, Psy.D., Vice President, Business Development, TeleHealth Solutions