Rep. Paulsen Considers Virtual Healthcare Regulation In Zipnosis Visit

Telemedicine providers hope state and national lawmakers will introduce legislature to regulate service costs industry-wide.

Rep. Paulsen Considers Virtual Healthcare Regulation In Zipnosis Visit
Minnesota Congressman Eric Paulsen recently toured Zipnosis, a Minneapolis-based virtual health care platform that assists individuals in diagnosing and receiving treatment from the comfort of their home.
The reason behind the lawmaker’s visit, he told KSTP, was to determine the potential application of this technology, as well as if new legislation was needed to regulate costs of the service.
Fairview Health Clinics, which partners with Zipnosis, charges $25 for its telemedicine services (includes a diagnosis online, followed by a phone or video chat with a doctor, and prescription if necessary). Zipnosis CEO Jon Pearce said the digital health care practice—which he expects every health care system in the country to adopt in the next five years—will eventually be in need of government intervention.
“We just need more consistent regulation at the state and national level for telemedicine and virtual care,” Pearce said. To date, each health care system has total control over how much it charges for telemedicine services. Therefore, according to Pearce, there is also a need for lawmakers to focus on reimbursements.
Paulson, a Republican representative for Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District, said he does not have plans to bring about new legislation regarding virtual care at this time. However, he said there are obvious benefits: “Certainly in rural communities, where you maybe don’t have the same access to physicians, or you don’t want to take the time to drive all of the way in to visit a physician,” he said, are instances when telemedicine would be beneficial.
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