For Immediate Release
Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) today submitted comments to the Arkansas State Medical Board (ASMB) Telemedicine Advisory Committee. As the only national trade association advocating solely for the employee benefit and compensation interests of America’s largest employers, ERIC actively participates in the rulemaking process for telehealth at the state-level nationwide.
“Our members are extremely interested in telehealth and the ease at which it allows their employees and their families to access health care,” said Annette Guarisco Fildes, president and CEO, ERIC. “While we appreciate that the Board avoided originating site restrictions, we encourage them to withdraw other requirements that increase regulations, without improving the quality of care.”
ERIC believes in barrier-free access to telehealth and is disappointed that the Board has placed additional requirements on providers treating patients via telemedicine, including requiring a physician to direct the patient to seek follow-up care with a primary care provider without regard to whether medical needs dictate this recommendation. This requirement undermines the provider and adds a regulatory burden that is unnecessary if the provider sees no reason to suggest such a visit.
ERIC is also concerned about the Board’s narrow definition of telemedicine technology that reduces a patient-physician relationship to real-time audio and visual technology and only in certain circumstances. The definition limits the advantages of telemedicine that may be available by allowing providers to establish patient-physician relationships using other technology.
“We ask that the Board consider a technology-neutral definition of telemedicine that allows for flexibility as technology advances and creates new opportunities for care,” said Guarisco Fildes.