For Immediate Release
Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) is expanding its efforts to increase access to telehealth at the state level by submitting written testimony in Delaware and Maine. ERIC also signed on to a letter to the Arkansas Legislative Council Administrative Rules and Regulations Subcommittee (Subcommittee) expressing concern over a last-minute change made to telehealth regulations which was not made available for public comment.
“As the only national trade association advocating solely for the employee benefit and compensation interests of America’s largest employers, ERIC is deeply committed to creating uniformity in telehealth legislation and regulations at the state and national level,” said Allison Wils, Director of Health Policy, ERIC. “It is extremely important that laws do not create unnecessary barriers to access telehealth. ERIC members want their employees, retirees, and their families to be able to access the care they need –when and how they need it.”
ERIC urged both Delaware and Maine to consider the benefits of telehealth and adopt flexible rules that permit the practice of telemedicine without burdensome restrictions, while maintaining a high standard of care. This was the second time ERIC participated in telehealth rulemaking in Delaware. In its most recent comments to the state, ERIC agreed with the Delaware Board of Clinical Social Work Examiners that the standards governing in-person visits, that ensure patient safety and a high-standard of care, should also apply, in the same manner, to telehealth visits. ERIC was pleased the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine and the Maine Board of Osteopathic Licensure issued joint proposed regulations that recognize the potential benefits of telemedicine, including the Boards’ position that telemedicine may be used to establish a physician-patient relationship when the standard of care does not require an in-person visit.
In Arkansas, ERIC was one of 15 organizations to sign a letter to the Subcommittee expressing concern over a last minute amendment made to a regulation that would have restricted access to telehealth in the state. ERIC and the other co-signers were not made aware of the change, nor were they allowed to comment. The letter asks that the Subcommittee send the regulation back to the Arkansas State Medical Board for review and public comment.
You can learn more about ERIC’s telehealth initiative here.