Telemedicine Rules Set to Move from Subcommittee to Full Medical Examining Board

July 26, 2016 11:00 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

July 21, Wisconsin Health News

A subcommittee of the Medical Examining Board tasked with developing rules on telemedicine anticipates sending a final version to the board for approval later this fall.

The board first drafted the proposed rules last year but formed a subcommittee to rewrite them after hospitals and others raised concerns at a January public hearing. The new set of rules, modeled on those approved by the state of Florida, is less prescriptive than the original set.

Members of the subcommittee said Wednesday they plan to revise the proposal to reference physician assistants. The Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants called for the change.

According to the academy, physician assistants "are already experiencing difficulty being authorized to provide telemedicine by certain health systems."

Elli Health, a Wisconsin-based telehealth company, wrote that they had some concerns about Florida's rules. But after seeing the Wisconsin proposal, they said their concerns had been addressed.

Mark Grapentine, senior vice president of government relations at the Wisconsin Medical Society, praised the board's process.

"I really appreciate how you guys have done this and how you responded from the initial go-around, which was interesting to say the least," Grapentine told board members. "I think you've pivoted to an area that will be helpful for you and understandable for the folks out in the field."

Dr. Kenneth Simons, the board's chair, said they hope to have an additional public hearing on the rule later this fall before deciding to approve it.