Today, ERIC submitted comments on North Dakota Senate Bill 2094, which would require most telemedicine visits to be performed using both audio and video communication technology. ERIC’s model telehealth legislation encourages telemedicine policy to be technology-neutral because restrictive requirements create a barrier to access, especially in rural areas where residents may not have consistent access to a fast, reliable internet connection capable of two-way audio-video communication. In our letter, we stated that, “We believe that it should be within the health care provider’s professional judgment to determine if a telemedicine visit will meet the requisite standard of care and what type of technology is appropriate to establish a relationship with a certain patient.”
You may recall that ERIC submitted similar comments to the North Dakota Board of Medicine in late 2017 regarding the same issue in its proposed rule. We were successful in defeating that measure, but it now has popped up in proposed legislation.
The Senate Human Services Committee will hold a hearing on the bill on Monday, January 14, so we should know soon if the Committee will be responsive to our concerns.
Article by Adam Greathouse, Health Care Policy Senior Associate