State Medical Board Proposal Could Affect Telehealth Licensing

March 21, 2014 in News

Next month, the Federation of State Medical Boards is set to vote on a new telemedicine policy that has implications regarding where physicians practicing telemedicine must be licensed, Modern Healthcare reports. 

The policy would:

  • Codify that medical care takes place where a patient is located, rather than where a provider is located; and
  • Ensure the same standards apply for both virtual and face-to-face care.

The policy states, “Physicians who treat or prescribe through online service sites … must possess appropriate licensure in all jurisdictions where patients receive care.”

According to Modern Healthcare, the policy could be a barrier to telehealth because of the time it takes for physicians to obtain multiple state licenses.

Bart Demaerschalk, a professor of neurology and director of telestroke and teleneurology at the Mayo Clinic, instead recommended that the board:

  • Develop a national or multi-state license for telemedicine; or
  • Change the policy’s requirement that medicine is practiced in a patient’s location.

The proposed policy will be voted on at the FSMB’s annual meeting in April (Robeznieks, Modern Healthcare, 3/20).

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