New guidelines issued by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) could have a chilling effect on the growth of telemedicine – especially in rural areas and among low-income patients, say some patient advocates, healthcare providers and healthcare companies. But the Federation says the updated guidance will safeguard patients’ privacy and ensure high-quality care in the current fast-changing healthcare delivery environment.
New Telemedicine Policy Draws Opposition
As part of a wide-reaching April 26 policy statement, FSMB changed the definition of telemedicine to care that “typically involves the application of secure videoconferencing… to provide or support healthcare delivery by replicating the interaction of a traditional encounter in person between provider and a patient.” It is not, according to the Federation, “an audio-only, telephone conversation, e-mail/instant messaging conversation or fax.”
The statement, which is not a legal document but is intended to help state medical boards’ develop professional policies and standards for their members, triggered a backlash from some stakeholders. Read the rest of the article in Kaiser Health News here.