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Florida Telehealth Committee Kicks off in Jacksonville

Tuesday, October 18, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: DCMS
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From the Desk of DCMS Chief Executive Officer, Bryan Campbell:

Tuesday morning, doctors, legislators and health care providers from around the state gathered at Nemours Childrens Specialty Care in Jacksonville to contemplate the future of the delivery of healthcare in Florida.

The Telehealth Advisory Council was created during the legislative session back in March to review and help guide the state in implementing telehealth in Florida. The Council will meet several times before reporting back to the Legislature and Governor Scott suggestions about the best ways to move forward.

Sen. Aaron Bean of Jacksonville helped to author the legislation and was on hand to introduce the esteemed panel, which includes Florida Surgeon General, Dr. Celeste Philip and Board of Medicine Chair and Mayo physician, Dr. Sarvam Terkonda. 

Discussion ranged from high level topics as appropriate reimbursement models and patient outcomes, to more seemingly simple but deceptively complex topics such as deciding how to define telehealth. A half dozen different definitions of telehealth were discussed and none was agreed upon by the Council. 

Justin Senior is the Interim Secretary for the Agency of Health Care Administration and Chair of this Council. He informed the group that transportation is the single largest logistical hurdle for Medicaid in the state at this time, and that telehealth can help to bring affordable access to the Medicaid patient population. 

Members of the community were allowed to present comments at the meeting, including words from Ronald "Doc" Renuart, D.O., former State Representative and President-elect of the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association. 

Almost every participant showed enthusiasm for the potential of better patient care with telehealth, but as one member stated "Remember that one person's cost-savings is another person's income reduction." There is no doubt that reimbursement models will take center stage as the Council continues to meet.

If you would like to participate in the Council meetings, or share your experience with telehealth, you will have many opportunities to do so. The Council will meet again on November 17th in Safety Harbor. All are welcome to attend. If you are unable to attend in person but would like to submit comments, you can submit them via email by clicking here.

To learn more about the Telehealth Advisory Council, visit the Council webpage.