Telehealth In 2017: What Changed And What's Ahead

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

As the U.S. shifts from a fee-for-service (FFS) system to a value-based system, health care information technology will become an increasingly important component in fostering patient engagement, coordinating care, increasing access to services and decreasing overall costs. Telemedicine, in particular, is viewed by many as the solution for achieving access to care and cost-efficiency. Concluding 2017, this article looks back on some of the legal and regulatory changes that occurred with respect to telemedicine as well as areas of interest to watch in 2018.

State-Level Changes -

On Dec. 15, 2016, the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) released their “2016 State Medical Board Survey” which was completed by 57 of the 70 state medical licensing boards in the U.S. and its territories, identifying their most pressing issues. The FSMB reported that 75 percent of boards chose telemedicine as one of the most important regulatory topics of 2017, securing the top spot in the survey. This report rang true this year as many licensing boards reconsidered existing telemedicine rules or created new telemedicine licensing frameworks altogether.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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