Telemedicine has become one of the fastest-growing and most fascinating approaches to healthcare in recent years. The digital age has allowed many industries and sectors the opportunity to leverage the ever-evolving technological landscape. Already, telemedicine has made its waves in delivering safe and effective medical services – even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
We will discuss the role of telemedicine within the State of California and how it’s serving the population in situations where the diagnosis of non-emergency illnesses and injuries can be performed with just one video call.
Who is the California Medical Board?
The California Medical Board is a 15-person organization that mostly consists of medical doctors. Many of them are appointed by the Governor of California. As of 2024, eight of the board members are physicians while the remaining seven are public members.
One public member is appointed by the Speaker of the California Assembly and another is appointed by the members of the Senate Rules Committee.
What is the California Medical Board’s role in telemedicine?
The board oversees the medical policies and practices that are being performed in the State of California. This includes the role of telemedicine. They require physicians that intend to offer these services to patients must be licensed in the state.
They require doctors to perform the same amount of care and responsibilities in telemedicine as if they were treating patients on-site. This also includes providing informed consent while protecting sensitive data and information relating to the medical history of their patients.
The California Medical Board will also investigate any complaints filed against physicians by patients – especially if the incident is related to telemedicine. In the event of such issues, the board gives patients the opportunity to report such situations online or by phone.
They will also address any concerns pertaining to their insurance company or the health plan that a patient currently has.
Where can I receive telemedicine in California?
All telemedicine services are available online and provided by several healthcare providers and medical facilities based in California. For example, Southwest HealthCare has plenty of clinics and facilities throughout Southern California and offers telehealth services to residents in several counties and communities in the region.
Such services are not just limited to the usual medical situations, but also to various disciplines pertaining to physical and mental health.
When can I access telemedicine services?
Most telemedicine providers will allow 24/7 access for patients to connect with doctors. This is a huge convenience for those who need to talk to a doctor after hours or may be dealing with situations where an emergency room visit is not warranted.
Why is telemedicine important?
Telemedicine has long been an excellent service for patients – even before the challenges of COVID-19 made it difficult for patients and doctors to meet face to face. The intent of this kind of medical care is to save patients time and money.
It will also make it easier for medical facilities to reduce the amount of patient transfers and visits to the emergency room or urgent care centers. Furthermore, it can save patients a lot of money compared to hospital or clinic visits.
While the California Medical Board oversees the medical practices and disciplines, they also include telemedicine within their jurisdiction of authority. Like on-site medical facilities, they want to make sure that patients are receiving the best care from doctors that are skilled and knowledgeable in treating such patients ethically and safely.