For Immediate Release
Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) today submitted comments to the Texas Medical Board praising it for taking steps to quickly implement the new telemedicine law in the state, including the incorporation of mental health services.
As the only national association that advocates exclusively for large employers on health, retirement, and compensation public policies at the state, federal, and local levels, ERIC has been extremely active in Texas, helping to create barrier-free access to telehealth for our members, many of whom have employees and retirees in the state.
In order to maximize the implementation of telemedicine in the state and ensure that the Texas medical community has clear and consistent guidelines for the practice of telemedicine, ERIC suggested the Board amend the rules to:
- Retain portions of the rule that provide requirements for written protocols that address the prevention of fraud and abuse
- Keep provisions related to patient notice requirements, including the need to inform patients about the limitations of telemedicine, especially what steps to take if they need in-person follow up care
- Clarify that an initial in-person visit is not required to establish the patient-provider relationship under any circumstance
- Maintain provisions for the evaluation and treatment of the patient via telemedicine, as well as discussion of in-person follow up care, should the need arise
“It is extremely encouraging that after all these months of debate, the Texas Medical Board is taking the necessary steps to implement telemedicine in the state,” said Adam Greathouse, Health Policy Associate, ERIC. “ERIC also applauds their efforts to incorporate mental health services, allowing millions of Texans access to the care they need, when and where they need it.”
ERIC previously applauded Governor Greg Abbott for signing Senate Bill 1107 into law, after submitting testimony supporting S.B. 1107 and its companion House Bill 2697. ERIC also filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Teladoc, Inc. et al v. Texas Medical Board et al supporting the use of telemedicine. In February 2016, ERIC submitted testimony to the House Health and Human Services Committee calling for technology-neutral requirements allowing for the use of different telemedicine platforms and licensing policies that facilitate interstate practice, and urged Texas legislators not to force patients to visit specific locations to access telemedicine services nor to impose additional requirements on telemedicine providers that are not imposed on in-person visits.
Click here to read ERIC’s latest comments.