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Florida Health Regulators Announce Telemedicine Board Appointments

Ryan Benk
A telemedince kiosk at Crowly Maritime Corporation in Jacksonville, Florida.

Florida’s health regulators announced the appointment of 13 health care professionals to a board tasked with assessing the viability of telemedicine.

The taskforce will recommend solutions for reimbursing doctors who use distance medicine technology to treat patients.

The 15-member panel will be chaired by Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Elizabeth Dudek or her stand-in. Florida Surgeon General Celeste Philip was also appointed to the committee and can also select a stand-in.

The Telehealth Advisory Council was set up after lawmakers couldn't agree on the best way to regulate the use of webcams and other technology to treat patients from a distance.

Major sticking points were whether out-of-state doctors could participate and how physicians would be reimbursed for the services by insurance companies.

After years of failing bills, lawmakers decided on creating a taskforce to study these questions and make recommendations to the Legislature. The board is expected to have those recommendations a year from January.

The panel is composed of doctors, insurance representatives and medical supply executives from around the state, including Jacksonville Dr. Servam Terkonda.

A full list of the board appointees is below:

  • Elizabeth Miller, CRNP, of Tampa, serves as the chief operation officer of WellCare Health Plans.
  • Dr. Ernest Bertha, of Sunrise, serves as the medical director of Sunshine Health.
  • William Manzie, of Hollywood, serves as the administrative director of Telehealth Strategy for Memorial Healthcare.
  • Matthew Stanton, of Cleveland, serves as senior director of distance health for the Cleveland Clinic.
  • Dr. Steven Selznick, of Longwood, serves as the CEO/president for Selznick Consulting.
  • Darren Hay, of Miami Beach, serves as the senior vice president of Ideal Life.
  • Monica Stynchula, of St. Petersburg, serves as the CEO of REUNIONCare and is the acting state president of AARP.
  • Leslee Gross, of Coral Gables, serves as the assistant vice president of operations for Baptist Health South Florida.
  • Dr. Kevin O’Neil, of Sarasota, serves as the chief medical officer of Brooksdale Senior Living, Inc.
  • Dr. Kim Landry, of Gulf Breeze, serves as the EMS medical director and chief medical officer for Leon County EMS and Lifeguard Ambulance Service, Inc. 
  • Dr. Sarvam Terkonda, of Jacksonville, serves as the Site Medical Director for Connected Care in Florida for Mayo Clinic.
  • Dr. Anne Burdick, of Miami Beach, serves as a Professor of Dermatology, Leprosy Program Director and Associate Dean for Telehealth and Community Outreach for the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine.
  • Mike Smith, of Tallahassee, serves as the Telemedicine Program Development Director for Florida State University, College of Medicine.
Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.