Gov. Gary Herbert issued an executive order Thursday suspending sections of state statute that may make it hard for healthcare providers to provide telehealth care for patients.
This comes as the string of coronavirus at the center of the worldwide pandemic continues to spread across the state.
The order allows medical providers to offer telehealth service, that may not comply with security and privacy standards required by Utah law, to patients. This change will be permitted if healthcare providers do the following: tell their patients that the service does not comply with those standards, allow them to decline the service and takes steps to ensure the service is secure and private.
Herbert issued the following statement:
While we applaud health systems that have already expanded to offer telehealth services that provide the highest levels of privacy, we don’t want to stop health providers new to offering telehealth from innovating and using video conferencing programs that are readily available to them.
The more opportunities we can create for patients to consult with their medical providers remotely, the more we can prevent the risk of spreading COVID-19 in our clinics and healthcare centers.
Telehealth care has become increasingly popular as the coronavirus spreads.
If you have symptoms of coronavirus, a cough, fever and shortness or breath, you can video chat from your home with a medical expert.
Traci Wood, the medical director of the University of Utah's Health Urgent Care, previously told 2News.
"No call is inappropriate. If you're concerned at all we would rather have you call in so we can give you the care that you need."