The Alabama Senate on Tuesday passed legislation formally recognizing telehealth and setting up rules for telehealth services in the state of Alabama.
Senate Bill 272 (SB272) is sponsored by State Sen. Dan Roberts (R-Mountain Brook).
The version of the bill that passed the Alabama Senate was a substitute after Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro) raised objections to the version that was before the Senate on Thursday. The new substitute version of SB272 was adopted without opposition.
“As you know, this is a bill that we have worked on since 2019,” Roberts said. “It will officially recognize telehealth as an approved method of providing healthcare services and allows Alabama physicians to practice telehealth working under their license.”
Roberts explained that doctors would not need a special telehealth license in order to provide telehealth services to their patients.
“Cold calls and telemarketing is expressly forbidden,” Roberts said.
Roberts explained that a patient may have four telehealth sessions for the same condition before they must come to an in-office visit with the doctor.
“It is not our intent for this to replace in-office visits,” Roberts said.
Singleton said that he still had problems with the four-visit portion and that the Senate should continue to work on that.
Sen. Del Marsh (R-Anniston) said, “Let me thank you, Sen. Roberts, for bringing this piece of legislation. This is something that we have worked on since before the pandemic, but the pandemic has demonstrated the importance and need of this.”
Roberts said that Alabama was one of only four states that did not already have a statute for telehealth.
SB272 passed the Alabama Senate by a vote of 33 to 0. It now goes to the Alabama House of Representatives for their consideration.
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