Proposed Patient-Centered Telemedicine Policy Raises Licensing Questions

Published Online: March 21, 2014
The Federation of State Medical Boards will vote next month on a new telemedicine policy that codifies that medical care takes place where a patient, not a provider, is located. It also states that whether a physician and patient have a virtual or a face-to-face encounter, there should be no differences in standards of care.

The proposal carries implications for where doctors practicing telemedicine need to be licensed. “The practice of medicine occurs where the patient is located at the time telemedicine technologies are used,” the proposed policy states. “Physicians who treat or prescribe through online service sites are practicing medicine, and must possess appropriate licensure in all jurisdictions where patients receive care.”

Lisa Robin, FSMB chief advocacy officer, said the telemedicine policy actually grew out of an effort to simplify the licensing process for physicians seeking licenses in multiple states.

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Source: Modern Healthcare