The Secretary of Health, Lorenzo González Feliciano reported this Thursday that the island's doctors will be able to exercise telemedicine until December 31 of this year or while the state of emergency lasts due to the pandemic of the COVID-19 .
Telemedicine includes the services of medical consultations by telephone or by any other authorized means to evaluate patients; the sending of prescriptions, referrals or medical orders by photography or any other electronic method, among other services.
" The current situation we face due to the presence of COVID-19 has forced us to immediately insert ourselves in technological practices that not only guarantee the confidentiality and quality of the medical service, but also safeguard the health of the patients. The use of telemedicine is one of those tools that meets all of these requirements, so I extend the validity for said practice until December 31, 2020, "the official explained through a press release.
González Feliciano indicated that this determination responds to the need for citizens not to neglect their health in the midst of the pandemic.  " Progressively, we are going to incentivize doctors to expand the use of telemedicine. In addition to using the telephone to send prescriptions or for medical consultations, telemedicine offers many alternatives and has multiple advantages, both for doctors and for patients, "he established.
Joint Senate Resolution 491 that makes the Telemedicine establishes that every doctor who practices telemedicine in Puerto Rico may invoice the services provided and the insurance companies as well as the Health Insurance Administration (ASES), have the obligation to pay the themselves, as if they were face-to-face services. Given this, ASES met its requirements to delete the signature of the primary doctor on a prescription, medical order or referral.
The official recalled that pharmacies can dispense repetitions of chronic medications, even if the patient does not have a new prescription.  "For this, the patient must show the empty medication bottle, identified with the patient's name and dosage. This does not apply to medications classified as narcotics by federal or state laws or regulations," states the statement.