HB 2697

85(R) - 2017
House Public Health
House Public Health
Health & Human Services

Companion Bill

SB 1107

Vote Recommendation

  • Positive
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral


Four Price

Bill Caption

Relating to telemedicine and telehealth services.

Fiscal Notes

From the LBB: No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated. 

Bill Analysis

This bill would prohibit the Texas Medical Board from requiring that a physician have a face-to-face consultation between a patient and physician before providing telemedicine services. The bill would require that to provide telemedicine medical services, a practitioner-patient relationship must already be established, and the services must be provided in the manner prescribed by statute. The chapter does not apply to mental health services. The bill also moves the definition of telemedicine medical services and telehealth services to the Occupations Code rather than the Health and Safety Code.The bill would also prohibit health benefit plans from excluding coverage for an already covered service on the sole basis that the service is performed using telemedicine/telehealth services and not performed in person. It would also prohibit a copayment, deductible, or coinsurance for a covered telehealht/telemedicine service to exceed the fee charged for the service in person. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

This bill is in keeping with our limited government and free market principles. The bill would legalize telemedicine and telehealth services in the state. This would likely help remedy the current shortage of doctors in many areas in this state. Telemedicine would allow persons in rural areas to have access to healthcare professionals without having to travel long distances to see physicians. Telemedicine would be especially helpful with the shortage of mental health professionals in the state. For this reason we support this legislation.