More action is needed to increase access to telemedicine nationwide
Washington, D.C. – Today the Federation of State Medical Boards released its final version of a model interstate licensure compact for physicians. While Health IT Now is still reviewing the complete recommendation, James Turner, senior policy counsel of the Health IT Now Coalition provided the following statement:
“Health IT Now is encouraged by FSMB’s interest in the issue of interstate licensure as it gains momentum at both the state and federal levels. However, we fear the FSMB licensure compact does not go far enough in reducing real barriers to accessing telemedicine for the patients who need it most.
“The FSMB recommendation released today is essentially an expedited licensure process based on the current state-based model. It could be further enhanced to advance coordinated care by allowing licensed providers to provide virtual care to their patients within the identified Compact states without additional licensure requirements.
“Medical boards often argue for the need to protect their citizens through licensure. Using that argument, a provider licensed to practice in the state where the patient resides should have the same opportunity to treat that patient anywhere in the United States. Providers need the ability to treat their patients anywhere using technology so long as they have established a relationship in the state of licensure. Patients expect and deserve the right to access their trusted providers, regardless of geographic location.
“Telemedicine holds incredible promise for millions of Americans who stand to gain from increased access to care. By eliminating barriers to access we can achieve the goals of improved outcomes, improved patient safety and decreased cost for rural patients, chronically ill patients and more.”
Health IT Now looks forward to working with stakeholders at FSMB, Congress and the administration on this issue in the coming months.
About Health IT Now:
Health IT Now (HITN) is a broad based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers and payers that supports incentives to deploy heath information technology to improve care, provider performance, patient outcomes, and to lower costs.