Joint Commission abandons proposed telehealth requirements for accreditation

The Joint Commission, an independent, nonprofit organization that accredits and certifies healthcare organizations and programs, scrubbed its proposed telehealth requirements for hospitals, the commission confirmed with Becker's Hospital Review in an email statement Thursday.

In May, the commission drafted amendments to its accreditation framework in response to hospitals expanding direct-to-patient telehealth services. To earn accreditation, the commission would have required hospitals confirm patients' location and obtain informed consent before providing them telehealth services.

The rules were criticized as too restrictive compared to some states' laws and CMS standards, according to Politico Morning eHealth newsletter.

According to the commission, its review of the proposed requirements determined the quality and safety concerns of direct-to-patient telehealth had already been addressed by seven standards chapters.

The commission still intends to issue surveys that help assess direct-to-patient telehealth services, develop guidance to help better review telehealth services and continue to evaluate additional options that will ensure the quality and safety of direct-to-patient telehealth, commission spokeswoman Katie Looze Bronk said.  

This story was updated Oct. 13, 2017 at 11:03 a.m.

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