According to a weekend report in the Boston Herald, doctors who practice telemedicine in Massachusetts should be licensed by the state.
This is particularly pertinent to physicians who diagnose patients who have not been observed in person.
The licensing recommendation comes from a lawyer for the Massachusetts Medical Society.
“When you’re talking about diagnosis, that’s a really critical area,” says Bill Ryder, the group’s legislative and regulatory counsel. “Anybody who does that should have a full license in Massachusetts.”
A law the state Legislature passed last year defines telemedicine as the use of interactive audio, video or other electronic media — except telephone, fax or email — for the purpose of diagnosis, consultation or treatment.
Coverage from the Herald indicates that state legislators asked the Division of Insurance and the Board of Registration in Medicine to provide recommendations for legislation that would address physicians providing care from inside and out of state borders.
The agencies are now seeking feedback and insight from the medical community, insurers and other stakeholders.
“We realize we’re at the starting point,” says Kevin Beagan, deputy commissioner of the division’s Health Care Access Bureau.