flag_160540827This is the seventh article in our series on the effect of a “slow repeal” of the ACA. This week’s discussion focuses on the potential impact on healthcare technology.

Industry experts are predicting that a slow repeal of the ACA will have very little, if any, negative impact on healthcare technology. Healthcare technology grew at an unprecedented pace under the ACA, in part because the ACA contains provisions which provide healthcare technology with incentives to develop and implement new systems aimed at increasing efficiency. Despite the significant amount of uncertainty with a slow repeal of the ACA for many players in the healthcare industry, healthcare technology appears to be poised for continued growth through value-based care, telemedicine, and the increased need for interoperability.

Continue Reading Slow Repeal of the ACA and Its Effect on Healthcare Technology

On June 9, 2016, the Texas Medical Board proposed for comment new rules regarding physician call coverage. The proposed new rule originated from the Board’s Telemedicine Committee and changes the current telemedicine call coverage rule. The rule would apply to all physician call coverage relationships, not just telemedicine.

During the meetings last week, the Board’s Executive Director stated that the proposed rule was created at the request of the Texas Medical Association and leadership from Children’s Medical Center of Dallas with input from the Texas e-Health Alliance. An earlier draft was withdrawn during the Board’s March 2016 meeting. The current draft was reviewed and discussed during a recent meeting of the Board’s telemedicine stakeholder group. Continue Reading Texas Medical Board Proposes New Call Coverage Rules for Telemedicine and Traditional Patient Care

TelehealthBlogPicThe Texas Medical Board (TMB) Telemedicine Committee met on Thursday, August 27, 2015. During the meeting they discussed potential changes to the on-call services telemedicine rule (174.11). At the end of the meeting, they instructed board staff to draft proposed revisions to the rule to allow for changes to the rule.

Although the direction to staff was verbal, they focused on several items: expanding the scope of on-call physician specialties a physician can choose from for their on-call services; a diminishing of the current requirement that the on-call physician provide reciprocal services to the original physician; and there also appeared to be consensus that the rule should include a provision which requires the original physician to have responsibility for the on-call care.

Continue Reading TMB considers changes to on-call telemedicine requirements

Laptop with medical diagnostic software and stethoscope

New Texas Medical Board (TMB) rules effective June 3, 2015, limit the ability to prescribe drugs based only on telephonic consults. The rules also raise questions about the viability of some call-coverage arrangements. Specifically, for a physician prescribing medication, Tex. Admin. Code tit. 22 §190.8 now requires, among other things, a “defined physician-patient relationship” that must include a physical examination performed by the provider face-to-face or in accordance with Tex. Admin. Code tit. 22 ch. 170 rules for telemedicine. Significantly, the limitations do not apply to mental health services, except in cases of behavioral emergencies.

Continue Reading Texas hangs up on telephone prescribers

After a protracted legal battle resolved in the favor of Teladoc, Inc. (Teladoc) on Dec. 31, 2014, (see Teladoc, Inc. v. Texas Medical Board, No. 03-13-00211-CV, Tex. App. 3rd, Austin) and clarifying that Teladoc physicians could prescribe dangerous drugs based on a telephonic evaluation, the Texas Medical Board (TMB) wasted no time in issuing an emergency rule Jan. 16, 2015, that significantly limits the use of telephones in the practice of medicine. Continue Reading Big Redial – Texas telephone medicine terminated?

The Federation of State Medical Boards recently endorsed a model policy that addresses the proper use of telemedicine services.  Only a few weeks later, a not-for-profit foundation released  a report highlighting the benefits of telemedicine and making recommendations for telehealth services.  It’s no surprise that telehealth and telemedicine have been in the news with increasing frequency given that the demand for telemedicine services are rising sharply.  According to a Law360 article, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd. estimates that 75 million digital doctor visits will occur this year in North America. Continue Reading Organizations Aim to Standardize Telehealth Practices