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Starting Friday, Indiana Doctors Can See Patients Via The Internet

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Indiana ranks 39th for physician access but a new law going into effect Friday could help connect more Hoosiers with doctors.

The state’s new telemedicine law allows doctors to examine a patient through a video conference and give a prescription.

Dr. Stephen Thrap with St. Vincent Medical Group in Frankfort says this is the future of health care.

"The equipment is available to listen to people’s hearts and lungs, to see into their ears and eyes and give us a very good opportunity to make the diagnosis," Thrap says.

Indiana is one of the last to establish a telemedicine law that could provide better healthcare access for Hoosiers, especially in rural areas.

Indiana Rural Health Association Telehealth Center Director Becky Sanders says while the new law will open doors it also poses limitations.

"When you cut off a psychiatrist from being able to prescribe mood altering drugs to a person who needs them then that’s a little bit of a hiccup in the law," she says.

Physicians cannot prescribe controlled substances, abortion inducing drugs or glasses and contacts.

Experts also stress that telemedicine shouldn’t take the place of face to face doctor visits.

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