Telemedicine Monthly Roundup- Was September The Calm Before the Storm?

September was a month of many updates in the world of telemedicine regulation and policy. Check in at the state level with updates in Arkansas, Kansas, Texas and Wisconsin. Then check out new clinical research and a decision from the American College of Physicians that support continued use and adoption of telemedicine.

Legislative

Congress Comes Back to a Full Health IT Plate (Politico)
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What’s Happening at the State Level?

Telemedicine: A Glimpse at Differing State Licensure Requirements (Lexology)

The use of telecommunication to complement health care delivery services is growing. Many health systems and providers are interested in developing a telehealth component as part of their offerings. With these expansions, professional licensure portability and practice standards for providers can be a significant challenge due to the conflicting and disparate requirements for practice standards under state laws. Therefore, many providers are unable to fully take advantage of telemedicine.

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How New Laws, Guidelines Impact the Telehealth Landscape (FierceHealthIT)

Coverage for telemedicine services has been rapidly growing across the U.S., and new laws and rules surrounding the technology are creating new opportunities and challenges.

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Arkansas

Arkansas Medical Board Committee Advances Relaxed Telemedicine Rules (UALR)

Patients in Arkansas could establish a relationship with a doctor through a real-time audiovisual visit instead of an in-person visit under proposed regulations described by the State Medical Board Telemedicine Advisory Committee last month.

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Nebraska

How Telehealth Services are Being Revamped in Nebraska (mHealth Intelligence)

Telehealth services are necessary for bringing more access to healthcare among populations living in rural locations or facing doctor shortages.  The state of Nebraska may be bringing more focus to reforming their telehealth services, according to the Kearney Hub publication. Nearly 300 professionals gathered at the Younes Conference Center to discuss a wide range of topics from healthcare regulation and population health management to telemedicine.

Read more here

 

Texas

TMB Considers Changes to On-call Telemedicine Requirements (Lexology)

The Texas Medical Board (TMB) Telemedicine Committee met on Thursday, August 27, 2015. During the meeting they discussed potential changes to the on-call services telemedicine rule (174.11). At the end of the meeting, they instructed board staff to draft proposed revisions to the rule to allow for changes to the rule.

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While Rules Evolve Telemedicine is Alive and Well in Texas (Texas Lawyer)

The eyes of the nation are focused on Texas, this time in relation to telemedicine—healthcare services that use the telephone, Internet and mobile technology to offer patients prompt, real-time access to medical professionals located elsewhere. Read more here

 

New Texas Law Employs Telehealth Technology in Schools (mHealth Intelligence)

As the telehealth field moves forward in improving patient access to healthcare services and lowering overall medical costs, many experts advise that telemedicine should be included in pediatric care. In Texas, a new law has been established to support utilizing telehealth technology in schools for diagnosing and treating children.  At the beginning of this month, the legislation enables doctors to speak with pediatric patients remotely via video consultation when the child is located at school. The law specifically supports children who are disabled and enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program.

Read more here

 

Wisconsin

COLUMN: Legislation Improves Access to Health Care (Tomah Journal)

Wisconsin Assemblywoman Nancy VanderMeer has focused on tackling a number of issues − one of those was to improve the quality of life for Wisconsinites, especially through increasing access and better delivery of health care for ultimately better outcomes. One was she hopes to do this is by helping pass Assembly Bill 253, which would enable Wisconsin to enter into an Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.

Read more here

Read Assembly Bill 253 here

 

Regulatory Update Matrix

State Status Concerning Issue
Arkansas Meeting- Sept 23rd  Medical Board Telemedicine Committee Meeting
Colorado Board Approved Guidelines Medical Board Practice Standards
Delaware SPA Proposal to CMS Medicaid To allow the beneficiary home as an originating site
Idaho Hearing Sept 15th Medical Board Practice standards
Louisiana Revised Draft- Aug 20th Hearing Medical Board Physician- Patient Relationship; Licensure; Prescribing
Massachusetts Proposed– Hearing Sept 2nd Medicaid Home Health RPM
North Dakota Revised Draft– Hearing Mid Oct Medical Board Practice Standards
Ohio Board Approved Medical Board Internet Prescribing
South Carolina Board Approved Guidance Medical Board Practice Standards and Internet Prescribing
Wisconsin Proposal forthcoming Medical Board Practice standards

***Information Gathered from ATA Monthly Update Webinar

 

In Other News…..

ACP: Telemedicine Should be Held at Same Standards as In-Person Care (ACP)

The American College of Physicians (ACP) announced their position on telemedicine and what constitutes good practice within it. The group recommended that “telemedicine be held to the same standards of practice as if the physician were seeing the patient in person,” and that “a valid patient–physician relationship must be established for a professionally responsible telemedicine service to take place.

Read more here

Read the full recommendations here

ACP Wants More Telemedicine, But on its Terms (MedCity News)

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Strong Physician, Patient Relationship Key to Telemedicine Success (Neurology Advisor)

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HIMSS Analytics: Telemedicine Adoption Rates Up From Last Year (iHealthBeat)

A study based on data from the HIMSS Analytics Database and a survey of health IT professionals showed that the rate of telemedicine adoption among health care providers increased by about three percentage points between 2014 and 2015

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FYI…..

 

Survey: 20 Percent of ACOs Use Telemedicine (MobiHealth)

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Home-based Telepsychiatry Comparable to In-person Treatment of PTSD (Healio)

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Three Themes Alter Evolution of Physician Telehealth Policies (mHealth Intelligence)

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Stay Tuned…..

HIMSS’ 2015 ‘Congressional Asks’ Focus on HIE, Cybersecurity and Telehealth (CMIO)

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