Telemedicine Bill Being Drafted in Washington

In a story published earlier this month on the Government Health IT site, it was announced that Sen. Tom Udall (New Mexico) plans to propose a bill this spring to streamline licensure for physicians practicing telemedicine. The bill, which would allow physicians to connect to patients in multiple states without needing to apply for separate licenses, has the potential to reduce barriers for patients seeking telemedicine services, and widen the reach of practicing physicians. The Federation of State Medical Boards, which has raised concerns with the proposed changes, is in conversation with Senator Udall to modify the bill.

Locally, a bill recently proposed in Minnesota by DFL Representative Kim Norton (Rochester, MN) aims to allow similar flexibility in licensure for Minnesota nurses practicing telemedicine in other states by allowing their participation in the Nursing License Compact.

As Information Technology networks grow and strengthen, so do the possibilities for telemedicine services. These bills could be an important step in recognizing those possibilities, a change that would benefit patients and providers alike.

To read the full article and find more information on Senator Udall’s bill, click here.