WASHINGTON, DC – September 21, 2022 –The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) today responded to the New Mexico Medical Board’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on a “NEW PART to Title 16, Chapter 10 NMAC – Telemedicine.”
In its regulatory comment letter, ERIC urges the Board to address and make corrections to several specific issues within the proposed rules – including requirements for establishing a physician-patient relationship, limitation of asynchronous technologies in diagnosis and treatment, and unjustified barriers to prescription practice – in order to secure the effective and efficient telemedicine services that New Mexicans need.
“ERIC has long recognized the unique potential that telemedicine services have to modernize health care delivery and improve access to quality medical care for families across the country. As ERIC member companies strive to provide the best health care coverage possible to their nationwide workforces, it is critical that state policies do not unnecessarily restrict the flexibility of patients or providers to make use of invaluable, clinically proven telemedicine services, especially without a defined medical justification,” said James Gelfand, President of ERIC.
“Unfortunately, the rules proposed by the Board would do just that by creating broad technological barriers to telemedicine without clear clinical reasoning. Furthermore, the intent and effect of the proposed rules stand in stark contrast both to telemedicine guidelines established by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the telemedicine standards established by New Mexico’s own state laws in this space. ERIC therefore strongly urges the Board to follow our recommendations and make significant changes to the proposed rules in order to safeguard access to quality health care for New Mexicans.”
In the letter, ERIC recommends that the Board:
- Remove unnecessary requirements for establishing a “physician-patient relationship” that would create ambiguous standards of care and prevent patients from accessing telemedicine services
- Remove restrictions on the use of asynchronous technologies for telemedicine diagnosis and treatment that would limit the tools available to providers without apparent clinical justification
- Remove additional requirements on telemedicine prescription practice that are arbitrarily restrictive and would unreasonably alter commonly accepted standards of care
- Clarify the statutory authority that allows the Board to develop these proposed rules or alter state telemedicine practice standards broadly
While regulatory development continues, ERIC is committed to shaping state policies that expand access to invaluable telemedicine services and will continue to work with state policymakers to improve telemedicine in New Mexico and other jurisdictions across the country.
To read the full comments submitted by ERIC, visit its website here.