The State of Wisconsin’s Medical Examining Board (MEB) recently held a hearing on a proposed rule which would regulate the use of telemedicine (also referred to as “telehealth”) in Wisconsin. The draft rule represents a first attempt to set administrative requirements surrounding the operational and clinical practice of telemedicine in the state. Provisions of the proposed rule would:
- Create a definition of telemedicine
- Explain how a valid physician-patient relationship is established
- Identify technology requirements for physicians who interact with patients remotely
- Require appropriate medical licensure in order to treat patients in Wisconsin
Over the last several years, many states have established rules and regulations regarding telemedicine services. Wisconsin looked to these other states to consider what “best practices” were available as they sought to establish a standard for the appropriate use of telemedicine services across the state. The proposed rule aims to strike a balance between maintaining patient safety and providing specific guidance to physicians utilizing innovations in technology to improve access and delivery of care.
One of the leading vendors of telehealth services in the country applauds the State’s efforts to draft a rule that “recognizes that telemedicine is another tool for physicians and not a separate practice of medicine.” While some provider groups have raised concerns about the increased regulatory complexity that the rules could present, others feel regulation in this area will provide clarity to physicians for appropriate telemedicine practice.
The MEB will meet again in February to discuss the draft proposal in more detail. The Alliance will keep you posted as changes are made during this rule-making process. In the meantime, we would appreciate hearing from you if:
- You have experience working with telemedicine companies and providers.
- You have comments regarding the proposed rule.
Please respond to Annette Cruz, health policy consultant, 608.347.8190, or firstname.lastname@example.org.