ERIC Works to Create Barrier-Free Access to Telehealth

For Immediate Release

Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) is weighing-in with regulatory boards and legislatures to create barrier-free access to telehealth. ERIC recently submitted testimony to the Michigan House Committee on Health Policy, as well as presented letters to the Missouri State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts, the Louisiana Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and the Delaware Board of Dietetics/Nutrition.

Since launching its telehealth initiative in 2015, ERIC –the only national trade association advocating solely for the employee benefit and compensation interests of America’s largest employers –has actively participated in the state rulemaking process for telehealth promoting barrier-free and technology-neutral telemedicine policies around the country.

“Many ERIC members are offer their employees telehealth options as part of their benefit packages. It is important to our members that their employees, retirees, and their families have access to care,” said Allison Wils, Director of Health Policy, ERIC. “By removing additional requirements placed on telehealth visits and allowing for a wide range of technology to be used to establish these visits, more people will receive the care they need, when and where they need it.”

ERIC submitted testimony to the Michigan House Committee on Health Policy earlier this week, urging the Committee to favorably advance Michigan Senate Bill 753 (S. 753) on telehealth. ERIC applauds the technology-neutral definition of telehealth put forth in the bill and believes S. 753 strikes the right balance of flexibility needed to maximize the benefits of telehealth, while maintaining the needed protections to ensure a high standard of health care in Michigan.

In comments to the Louisiana Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, ERIC agreed with the Board that the standard of care and professional ethics governing in-person visits should apply in the same manner to telehealth visits and appreciated the Board’s technology-neutral definition of telehealth.

ERIC also submitted comments to Delaware Board of Dietetics/Nutrition, urging it to strike the proposed requirement requiring initial evaluations be performed “face to face and not through telehealth,” instead use standards laid out in existing rules, as well as permit licensees to exercise their professional judgment on a case-by-case basis to determine whether telehealth is appropriate for an initial encounter. ERIC believes by limiting barriers to services provided via telehealth, the Board accomplishes its goal of broader access to care without compromising professional standards of competence and service delivery.

ERIC similarly stressed the importance of not placing additional burdens on providers who offer telehealth services in comments to the Missouri State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts on proposed regulations that recognize the potential benefits of telehealth as they relate to Assistant Physician Collaborative Practice Agreements.

You can learn more about ERIC’s telehealth initiative here.

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All media inquiries to The ERISA Industry Committee should be directed to:

Kelly Broadway, 202.627.1918, kbroadway@eric.org

About the ERISA Industry Committee
ERIC helps America’s largest employers stay ahead of employee benefit policy. ERIC member companies are leaders in every sector of the economy, and we represent them in their capacity as sponsors of employee benefit plans for their own workforce. Only ERIC provides the combination of intel, expertise, collaboration, and lobbying that exclusively serves the interests of large employers who provide health, retirement, and compensation benefits to their nationwide workforce.