Austin – The Texas Association of Business (TAB) and the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) joined Rep. Warren Chisum (R-Pampa), Chair of the House Rural Caucus, to voice opposition to the proposal before the current Texas Board of Medical Examiners requiring a patient who receives a telemedicine consultation to see a physician within 72-hours. The rule would cripple telemedicine and its benefit to those in underserved areas.

“Telemedicine has enabled access to health care for families who would ordinarily have to drive for hours on end to receive a simple diagnosis,” said TAB President Bill Hammond. “The so-called ‘72-hour rule’ would place a burden on areas and families already struggling to access health care. In addition, once the federal health care law is implemented, telemedicine will be more important than ever in alleviating the strain on our state’s medical resources.”

“Any incursion on the success of telemedicine sends a signal that free-market medical innovations are discouraged,” said TPPF Executive Director Arlene Wohlgemuth. “This decision should be in the hands of doctors and patients, not Austin bureaucrats.”

“For rural Texas, requiring patients to make an in-person visit to a doctor within 72 hours is often not feasible,” said Rep. Warren Chisum. “Telemedicine enables countless Texans the ability to access quality health care. Doctors have the ability to request an in-person visit with the patient should their medical training deem it necessary, superseding their medical judgment by rule is unnecessary and intrusive. Laws and rules should be focused on encouraging innovation in this growing market to provide safe, accessible healthcare options for rural Texans.”

*** Founded in 1922, the Texas Association of Business is a broad-based, bipartisan organization representing more than 3,000 small and large Texas employers and 200 local chambers of commerce.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation‘s mission is to promote and defend liberty, personal responsibility, and free enterprise in Texas by educating and affecting policymakers and the Texas public policy debate with academically sound research and outreach.