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Gov. Markell signs telemedicine reimbursement bill

Anne Hoffman/Delaware Public Media
Ingrid Pretzer-Aboff demonstrates doctor-patient video-conferencing with Dr. Roseann Dobkin who addressed the crowd from Rutgers.

  Delawareans who receive treatment from out of state specialists through video conferencing will soon get their telemedicine bills reimbursed by insurance.


Gov. Jack Markell signed House Bill 69 on Tuesday at UD's STAR campus.

The legislation is designed to help people who suffer from neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease.

There aren’t many Delaware based specialists for those kinds of illnesses, so patients often video-conference with out-of-state medical experts.

Marge Fleming Smith, whose husband has Parkinson’s, says seeing a doctor from the comfort of home has given the couple a deep sense of relief. In the past, they had to drive to Johns Hopkins or UPenn every six months.

"The telemedicine, bringing it into the home, allows him to focus on the family, focus on his quality of life, not having to take a three hour trip," she says.


She adds that her husband now sees the doctor more than in the past because it’s more convenient. Fleming Smith says it’s made a huge difference in her life as his caregiver.


"When the caregiver is happy, the Parkinson’s disease person is happy. Because they’re not stressed by the caregiver being stressed."

The bill goes into effect in six months.

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