From ABC 15

PHOENIX — An important bill is moving on to the next step that would expand telemedicine in Arizona by requiring insurance companies to cover every virtual visit.

Right now, insurance only covers some specialties if the doctor uses telemedicine. Supporters say it’s a move that would save money and save lives.

Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center in Show Low is the perfect example of telemedicine at work. Their services can improve care and eliminate gaps in service that can happen in more rural communities where hospitals can’t afford to keep every kind of specialist on staff.

Summit Regional lost its nephrologist, the doctor needed for dialysis patients to continue treatments if they’re hospitalized for something else.

Patients only had the option of taking $40,000 helicopter rides to Phoenix or Flagstaff and if they didn’t have separate flight insurance, they would be saddled with the full transport bill on top of the other medical procedure bills.

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