New Jersey's 7th Legislative District

Senator Diane Allen

Senator Diane Allen

Advanced: Allen Bill to Legalize Telemedicine in New Jersey

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Healthcare providers would now be able to practice telemedicine in New Jersey under legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) and advanced by the Senate Budget Committee.

Sen. Diane Allen’s legislation would allow New Jersey doctors to practice telemedicine. (Flickr)

“Telemedicine is a safe, convenient and cost-efficient way to provide millions of new patients with access to quality healthcare,” Senator Allen said. “People with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, can use telemedicine to proactively manage their condition at home, preventing hospitalizations and costly emergency room visits. This is critical for those who are homebound or live in rural regions of our state where doctor shortages are common.”

Senator Allen’s bill, S-291, would authorize healthcare providers who are licensed by the state to engage in telemedicine. Physicians use telemedicine to treat patients via video conferencing, transmission of images and medical records, call centers, patient portals, remote monitoring of vital signs, and mental health screenings.

“Studies have shown that using telemedicine can lead to greater outcomes and patient satisfaction than in-person visits, specifically when it comes to behavioral healthcare,” Senator Allen said. “We know that there is a demand for telemedicine in New Jersey. It is my hope that providing this option will encourage people to seek out the services they need to stay healthy.”

S-291 would require health insurance companies to provide coverage and payment for services provided through telemedicine at least at the same rate as services provided in-person. Providers would not be able to issue prescriptions for controlled dangerous substances until an in-person exam has been conducted.

The State licensing board would be responsible for adopting rules and regulations for telemedicine. The legislation now heads to the Senate floor for a full vote. If enacted, the law would take effect immediately.

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