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Texas, The Last Frontier For Telehealth, Opens For Business

The ability of telehealth companies to do business in Texas–the last major U.S. market stymieing the growth of video doctor consultations–cleared a key hurdle when a bill widening patient access cleared that state’s House of Representatives.

The legislation opens a market of 28 million people to telehealth companies like American Well, MDLive and Teladoc, which have already been benefiting from expanding commercial coverage and employer health benefits administered and offered by large insurers like Aetna AET +0.05%, Anthem ANTM -0.06%, Cigna CI +0.31%, UnitedHealth Group UNH -0.11% and most Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans.

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The passage in the Texas House last week is the latest legislative momentum for telehealth, which offers access to physicians and patients via smartphone, tablet or computer. Employers and private insurers are already embracing the trend as a way to make healthcare more convenient and avoid costly and unnecessary trips to the emergency room or a more expensive physician’s office.

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