government

Pay for telemedicine required in Va.

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted March 15, 2010

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The Virginia Senate on March 2 voted 36-0 to adopt a bill that would require health plans to pay for telemedicine services. The House had adopted the same bill on Feb. 26 with a 95-0 vote.

The measure defines telemedicine services as "the use of interactive audio, video or other electronic media for the purpose of diagnosis, consultation or treatment."

The bill, however, allows utilization review to determine the appropriateness of services.

The Medical Society of Virginia supported the bill, said society spokeswoman Rachel Mertz.

Virginia joins 11 other states that have adopted similar legislation, according to a March 3 statement from the American Telemedicine Assn.

The telemedicine association expects Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell to sign the bill.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/03/15/gvbf0315.htm.

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