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20 Sep 2016

Arkansas Medical Board Approves Telemed

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Arkansas Medical Board approves telemed regulations establishing doctor-patient relationship


Arkansans will now be able to use telemed the way every other state (except Texas) does. The state’s Board of Medicine approved regulations that allow a doctor and patient to establish a relationship via telemedicine.


The medical board’s approved regulations outline a “proper physician-patient relationship” to include “a face-to-face examination using real time audio and visual telemed technology that provides information at least equal to such information as would have been obtained by an in-person examination.”


As the American Telemedicine Association reports, the board also assumes the licensing regulatory responsibilities for other allied health professionals, including occupational therapists, respiratory therapists, physician assistants and radiologists assistants, but it isn’t known now whether the medical board will pursue additional regulation for the use of telehealth for these professionals.


For the last few months, telemedicine efforts have been stalled in Arkansas (which ranks last in the nation in telemedicine practice standards according to the American Telemedicine Association). In July, a rule that would have made remote visits more permissible was stalled when a key legislative panel declined to sing off. The contention was over language around store and forward technology, which had been approved by the state’s Medical Board but then changed after the public comment period had ended, which lawyers said required a new public comment period.


A month later, the medical board moved forward on one rule to promote telemedicine by allowing the use of audiovisual technology to establish a doctor-patient relationship. But the medical board still rejected another that would change the requirements that allow non-video companies like Teladoc to see patients in the state.


The board will meet October 6 to discuss another set of regulations that establish telemedicine standards of care.


Original Content Credit:

Writer:  Heather Mack

Date:  September 16, 2016



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