The Texas Medical Board has made a final step towards convenient, consumer friendly telemedicine delivery with the proposed amendments to the telemedicine and telehealth rules.
Many of the previous roadblocks to virtual care, such as in person appointments or patient site presenters, have finally been removed.
The Medical Board doesn’t have complete control over the telemedicine policy. The Texas legislature wisely included a team first mandate in the telemedicine law requiring joint rules for telemedicine practice with the Medical Board, Board of Nursing, and Texas Physician Assistant, and Board of Pharmacy all working together to create one set of governing regulations.
Some skeptics believe the TMB’s propose rules are “too vague” as the rules propose deleting multiple requirements for providing telemedicine services and substitute simplified minimum requirements for providing a health care service or procedure as a telemedicine medical service that comport with Senate Bill 1107.”
According to Politico, the language caused a stir at this weekend’s Texas Medical Association conference, where attorneys for the organization were “worried the new rules are too vague and could make doctors feel ‘uncomfortable.’”
These concerns are unnecessary. It’s long overdue for politicians and rulemakers to take a step back, and allow Texas’ skilled doctors, nurse practitioners and other clinicians to make their own decisions on how to safely deliver care.
Telemedicine and other aspects to virtual care can now be adopted as an extension of great medical care, rather than being considered a siloed niche aspect of the provider-patient relationship.
The proposed amendments now face public comment. We will continue to monitor the rulemaking process with the TMB and any proposals by the Board of Nursing and Board of Pharmacy.
Griffin Mulcahey, VP, Strategy & Legal for Direct Health. Disclaimer – Direct Health’s opinions on the use of its platform are not legal opinions. We recommend anyone seek local counsel for any specific questions regarding the health regulatory landscape of your home jurisdiction
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