Another State Makes the Call on Telemedicine
Recently Louisiana signed into law House Bill 570 (“HB 570”) giving residence easier access to additional health care opportunities.
Last year the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners passed several regulations affecting the way telemedicine services were provided in Louisiana. One of the regulations involved a requirement that a physician with an unrestricted Louisiana medical license maintain a physical practice location in Louisiana or have an arrangement with physician(s) who maintain a physical practice location in Louisiana to accept patients for referral and follow-up care. In response to the board regulations, HB 570 eliminated the in-state office requirement as well as created an option to utilize “interactive audio” technology rather than just “two-way video” technology. HB 570 went on to provide that while state agencies and each professional or occupational licensing board or commission is authorized to adopt rules and regulations specific to the practice of telemedicine they are now prohibited from adopting any rules or regulations that are more restrictive than the provisions of HB 570.
This latest battle is more evidence of the continuing struggle states and medical boards are facing in an ever-evolving technological environment where the goal is to afford patients expanded access to providers while still ensuring the proper standard of care. In Texas, this struggle is still ongoing as litigation efforts have stalled the Texas Medical Board’s attempts at regulating (some would say restricting) the use of telemedicine within the state. However, if more and more states continue to open up the possibilities within their states to provide access to providers through the use of telemedicine, Texas legislators may be forced to follow in Louisiana’s footsteps and trump the Texas Medical Board.
For further details on telemedicine please feel free to contact Jay D. Reyero (firstname.lastname@example.org).