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No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated. The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) assumes physician nonpayment for telemedicine services under Medicaid managed care to be a rare occurrence, and indicates any costs associated with the bill could be absorbed within the agency's existing resources. The Texas Education Agency also anticipates no significant fiscal impact to the state.
No fiscal implication to units of local government is anticipated.
This bill is substantively the same as when we reported on it in its
original chamber. We continue to support HB 1878. The second
chamber sponsor is Senator Van Taylor.
There are currently pilot programs in place for certain participating school districts to offer telemedicine services as a payable Medicaid benefit to children.
This legislation would expand statewide access to telemedicine care by requiring telemedicine services to be a payable Medicaid benefit offered in a primary or secondary school-based setting.
Despite advances in medical science and technology, the delivery of health care continues to primarily occur face-to-face between doctor and patient. Recent advancements in telecommunications and video interfacing, however, now allow doctor and patient to communicate remotely without compromising accurate diagnosis, quality doctor-to-patient discussion, and monitoring of complex medical conditions. Proponents of this technology assert that such communication saves time and money for both doctor and patient and improves health care access. The proponents further contend that school-based telemedicine, which utilizes technology to connect children, pediatricians, school nurses, and parents, allows a physician and school nurse to promptly diagnose children and ensure they receive appropriate follow-up treatment without requiring a parent to miss work, thus saving taxpayers money because of reduced costs of emergency room visits and improved health outcomes for children.
Increasing access to care for children in schools through technological advancement while saving taxpayers' money promotes our limited government principle. We support HB 1878.