INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – There is a new option for those with minor afflictions to avoid a lengthy wait in an emergency room. Just go online for a video appointment with a real doctor.
Indiana patients, however, can only get a diagnosis. That’s because an online doctor cannot write a prescription for patients in Indiana.
It’s something that doctors can do for patients in 41 other states.
At the headquarters of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield 24-Hour News 8 got a demonstration of the Live Health Online website operated by the Indianapolis-based health insurance company. They hooked us up with Dr. Matt Goldstaff at his office in Texas.
“I feel like I’m doing some good by getting these people taken care of,” said Dr. Goldstaff of his patients.
The former emergency room physician uses a secure, private connection to give medical advice, but if a prescription is required, Indiana law requires a face-to-face doctor visit.
“Having the ability to prescribe in other states is a real benefit,” said Dr. Goldstaff.
“There’s no controlled substances, no narcotics, no lifestyle drugs are even available,” said John Jesser of Anthem.
Anthem representatives did a presentation for BioCrossroads Wednesday in the effort to win support for a change in the law.
Among those in attendance was David Wortman, who heads a local company called Diagnotes that develops software for video visits with a doctor.
“It makes them more productive,” said Wortman. “It makes the care more effective and it improves the quality of care to the patient as well and their level of satisfaction.”
And it can save money. A video visit at Live Health Online costs $49, a fee that may be covered by insurance.
The General Assembly this year approved a two month pilot program that will permit online doctors to write prescriptions for Indiana patients.
In 2015 lawmakers will be asked to change the law permanently.