Iowa Bill Seeks to Clarify Telemedicine Licensure, Reimbursements

A bill recently introduced into the Iowa House of Representatives would provide clarity to regulatory questions regarding telemedicine that have been raised across the country — what, if any, additional licensure would be required for telemedicine physicians, and how telemedicine services should be reimbursed.

Introduced by Reps. Deborah Berry (D-Waterloo) and Pat Murphy (D- Dubuque), the bill would allow medical professionals licensed by the appropriate board to perform any service within their normal scope of practice remotely via telemedicine without additional licensure.

The bill also states face-to-face physician visits would not be a prerequisite for reimbursement and that any service provided via telemedicine should be covered at the same rate as an in-person visit.

The bill has industry support. "We feel the time has come that providers and the state need to come together and start defining some things so we can at least facilitate the implementation of telemedicine faster than it’s been in the past," Rod Tokheim, vice president of business development at Mercy Medical Center-Clinton (Iowa), told the Clinton Herald.

Other state legislatures have been grappling with the same issues regarding telemedicine. In Florida, competing telemedicine bills in the state's House and Senate differ in the amount of regulation placed on providers and have sparked debate among industry stakeholders.

More Articles on Telemedicine:

WellPoint's Telemedicine Service Saves Patients $71 per Visit
American Telemedicine Association Urges Feds to Lift Telemedicine Restrictions
Blue Shield of California, Adventist Health Announce Telehealth Initiative

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