Americans for Prosperity launches telehealth initiative in Florida

by | Apr 9, 2021

Americans for Prosperity-Florida (AFP-FL) launched its statewide “Care You Can Call On” initiative on Friday, highlighting the growing grassroots support for legislation aimed at strengthening telehealth services for residents in the Sunshine State.

The new initiative, which also highlights AFP-FL’s support of House Bill 247, plans to spotlight a number of Floridians who have benefited from telehealth services. The political advocacy group, which advocates for lower taxes, less government regulation, and free market policies, will use the new initiative to organize petition drives all across the state to encourage members of the public to reach out to their elected officials about the importance of telehealth.

AFP-FL hopes the initiative will shed light on stories like Bob Buckels from Fort Myers, who is one of many patients that have benefited from telehealth services amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the last year, millions of Floridians have increasingly relied on telehealth services as an efficient, reliable, and cost-effective way to address many of their health care needs,” said AFP-FL State Director Skylar Zander. “By making these services permanent, patients like Bob will continue to have expanded options in how they receive their care, even after the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us. We urge the legislature to take up and pass this critical legislation as soon as possible.”

Telehealth, or using teleconferencing, Zoom calls, or other meeting applications to evaluate and converse with patients, has been a silver lining that has emerged since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the healthcare community, telemedicine continues to make progress with patients from all age groups, as well as all walks of life.

While the expansion of telecommunications in the healthcare industry still faces hurdles, experts believe telehealth could become a standard service offered across all care settings in the post-pandemic future.

Lawmakers have also made telehealth a top priority this legislative session. One bill (HB 247), sponsored by State Representatives Mike Giallombardo and Tom Fabricio, would eliminate restrictions on prescribing controlled substances through telehealth. Under current law, telehealth can only be used to prescribe controlled substances under limited conditions.

Legislators say the measure will go a long way in helping patients like Buckels skip the lines to safely and swiftly receive the care they need.

“A few days after back surgery I was released from the hospital to finish my recovery at home. Once at home my pain became unbearable. I called my doctor’s office to request a medication adjustment. Within a couple of hours, I spoke directly with a doctor and a new prescription was called into the pharmacy. The convenience of telemedicine was very much appreciated at that point in my recovery,” Buckels told The Capitolist.

You view Buckels’s testimony, click here.


%d bloggers like this: