Dr. Gene Dorio | Telemedicine Can’t Cross State Lines

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Taking two steps forward and one step back still allows society to move ahead. My career in medicine has seen technology enhance scientific achievement, advancing treatment and prevention while improving life expectancy and quality of life. 

When I first started, CT scans did not exist. We now have MRIs, PET scans, fMRIs, proton beam therapy, robotic surgery, new drug immunotherapy, and targeted therapy for cancer.

But sometimes, after getting a foothold, we move backward, especially when government gets involved.

Telemedicine utilizing new communication tools helped many receive medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic. These laws have now expired, and for those who don’t know this, your doctor cannot provide a telemedicine visit if you are in a different state. Yep, a physician’s computer connection cannot cross state lines.

Most patients do not have this problem as their doctor is local. But if you have a specialist at a leading cancer institute (like MD Anderson in Houston or Sloan Kettering in New York), live close to a state border (like Kansas City or Chicago), or even travel out of state for business or vacation, your doctor cannot provide you with a telemedicine visit.

For many, telemedicine provides information to improve our health. Doctors are being threatened with loss of license and even imprisonment if their computers cross state lines to provide medical care.

Now, as we take one step forward and two steps backward, be advised science and technology might help, but laws can easily hinder your health care.

Dr. Gene Dorio


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