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California Health Policy Leaders Applaud New Telehealth Law

California Health policy leaders gathered at the state capitol Thursday to applaud the passage of a bill they claim will usher in a new phase of hi-tech health care.

"What we've done is take the health care component into the 21st century. This is the future of health care," said Republican Assemblymember Dan Logue, lead author of the "telehealth" bill.

Starting next year, patients will be able to connect to health care providers through video conferencing, email or phone with less red-tape and paperwork.

Co-author Democrat and Doctor Richard Pan said this bill will benefit people who live in rural areas and inner cities who don't have easy access to specialty care.

"We're going to be able to move that expertise over telehealth to be sure that people can get access to the quality care they need," said Pan.

The Telehealth Advancement Act of 2011 had bipartisan support. Proponents believe it will help create thousands of jobs and save Medi-Cal more than a billion dollars a year.

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