Newly Approved Telehealth Guideline Causes a Stir

The Federation of State Medical Boards approved a model telehealth policy this weekend that's made some providers of these services happy and others, well, not so much, because of its emphasis on using video rather than audio technology for a first patient visit.

The Federation of State Medical Boards approved a model telehealth policy this weekend that's made some providers of these services happy and others, well, not so much, because of its emphasis on using video rather than audio technology for a first patient visit.

“This policy is a bold step toward a reality where all patients can access quality care irrespective of time, place and location,” said Dr. Roy Schoenberg, CEO of American Well, a Boston-based telemedicine technology and service provider that relies of video technology favored in the policy, in a news release. “Now that the federation has done its job as leaders, we look to states to do the same—embrace this model policy, and thereby ensure that only safe, secure and appropriate care can be delivered through today's telehealth technologies.”

The policy was approved with no changes, despite protests registered Friday during a committee hearing to gain public input, said Dr. Henry DePhillips, chief medical officer of Teladoc, which protested the policy's seeming restrictions on telephone-based physician-patient first encounters.

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Source: Modern Healthcare