/State medical board loosened telemedicine rules — then quietly changed some back

State medical board loosened telemedicine rules — then quietly changed some back

Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, stated that “responsive healthcare professionals will be vital for swiftly containing and eliminating COVID-19 patients in America as well as treating citizens during this time of need.” Doctors and nurses who are on the frontlines of this outbreak may become infected and may not be able to treat patients because of quarantine. They require support. Your support is essential to ensure that health professionals have the ability to travel across states and provide telemedicine services to those who are most in need. Azar asked states to loosen restrictions on practice to allow providers to practice in any setting that is appropriate for their training, including medical students, physician assistants, and nurses. Azar had made two of the three requests to Mississippi’s Board of Medical Licensure a week before. The state medical-licensure board granted emergency licenses to out-of-state doctors to treat Mississippi patients via telemedicine during the COVID-19 epidemic. Some restrictions were also lifted. The medical-licensure board’s decision made it easier for patients and their families to access telemedicine care. Primary care clinics have restricted access in order to stop the spread of coronavirus. Many higher-level care facilities have begun to reserve space, care, and procedures for COVID patients. COVID 19 MSBML Proclamation Text. The medical licensure board relaxed some restrictions regarding telemedicine and allowed doctors to practice telemedicine without having to have a relationship. Traditional regulations required that providers see patients in person before switching to telemedicine. However, this was removed due to shifting medical needs. The medical board issued a new mandate a week after it had lifted telemedicine restrictions on all providers. The second proclamation states that out-of-state doctors can only practice telemedicine on existing patients during the pandemic. Under the new restrictions, in-state doctors can still practice telemedicine for new patients. The state medical association and the medical board didn’t announce the changes. Both the state board as well as the association posted the updated proclamation on their websites after the initial announcement. At least 24 states have also increased licensure requirements to combat the pandemic. This allows out-of-state providers to practice Telemedicine more easily and is not limited to existing patients. On Thursday afternoon, Mississippi had 1,177 COVID-19 cases and 26 deaths. According to data from The COVID Tracking Project, Mississippi currently has the highest level of hospitalization at 31 percent. It also has the 12th highest rate for testing at 560 per 100,00 residents and the 19th highest number of cases per capita at 36 per 100,000. Dr. Ken Cleveland, the executive director of the medical-licensure boards, stated that the board preferred the restrictive language in the second proclamation. The medical board was only authorized out-of-state physicians to practice telemedicine to provide specialty care. It did not authorize doctors to work with existing patients. Cleveland stated that the board received a flood of emergency licensure requests from approximately 1,200 providers outside the state because of the proclamation’s first wording. Cleveland stated that “we didn’t get the language right, which opened up basically any physician who wanted to do telemedicine in Mississippi could,” adding that the board was unable to reasonably vet the volume of applications and perform licensure background checks that are available through the National Practitioner Data Bank. Azar’s request was consistent with recent federal guidelines, which have broadly opened access across geographical borders to bolster routine healthcare networks, while emergency focus shifts to COVID preparation. A slew new guidelines have been issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid that cut through red tape, such as payment hurdles and care settings. Azar’s agency temporarily lifted HIPAA regulations. Patients can now access telemedicine via almost any private portal like a phone line to Facebook, Skype, Zoom. Although telemedicine has grown in access, accessibility, and familiarity with providers and patients alike it is still tightly regulated in terms technology, reimbursements, and who can use it. Telemedicine was already gaining popularity in Mississippi even before the pandemic. It was being used to reduce the number of hospitalizations and cost savings, as well as improve long-term care in a state that has the lowest per-capita physician population. According to research by the Mississippi Center for Health Policy, the state was ahead in terms of its adoption and policymaking. Telemedicine required that insurers reimburse telemedicine visits at the exact same rate as in person visits. Mississippi has not relaxed on other regulations such as emergency telemedicine. It reserves the right to use this tool only for providers who have existing patient relationships. The new guidelines by HHS and Azar’s request to reduce regulations and barriers across the country send a clear message that the pandemic is shifting care models and everyone should be using telemedicine to access routine care. The expansion of telemedicine capacity is being hailed as a way to support primary routine care, as well as reduce COVID screenings and treatment bottlenecks in telemedicine portals as well as clinics. The American Medical Association is a powerful professional association that represents doctors. It has encouraged them to embrace telemedicine in the face of the pandemic. The association provided briefings on how to make telemedicine work for them and encouraged medical boards and state medical boards to remove restrictions on telemedicine. Advocates for reducing geographical barriers to care claim the reversal is a blatant violation of telemedicine, and will ultimately hurt Mississippi patients. Jameson Taylor is a policy researcher and lobbyist for Mississippi Center for Public Policy. This conservative advocacy group is based in Jackson. Taylor claims that the telemedicine reversal by the medical-licensure boards blocks patients’ access when they most need it. It’s unacceptable that the board isn’t doing all they can to increase the supply qualified health care professionals. The board seems to only care about power. If they were concerned about the safety and well-being of Mississippi patients, they would pursue policies that increase (the) supply of qualified healthcare providers. They’re restricting supply, even though there is a shortage of doctors in Mississippi. Taylor stated that they are increasing patient wait times and closing down care opportunities. “I believe the board’s primary concern was to protect their particular business model. But even that, I don’t believe that their primary concern was to open up Mississippi doctors to more opportunities, much less to provide quality medical care for Mississippi patients. “I say that because Mississippi doctors could benefit from telemedicine.” Cleveland of the medical licensure boards says that the intention is to expand access for patients who need specialty care, and not routine care. Patients would normally have to travel to see their providers. Although the new proclamation kept language that would reduce red tape for doctors in state during an emergency, it allowed them to pursue telemedicine without having to visit a patient in person. Cleveland stated that the language was clarified to ensure that everyone understood that this was only for Mississippi doctors who have Mississippi patients. “In my view, it was someone trying to profit from the situation, not trying to help.” Taylor responded. He said that they might only need prescriptions here and there. However, the chances of them having a pre-existing relationship outside of their state is lower. “We don’t have any indications that Mississippi needs an influx in physicians right now. Cleveland stated that there is no shortage of doctors in Mississippi right now. “The Board of Medical Licensure’s main task is to ensure the safety and welfare of Mississippians. If we are flooded with state emergency licensure requests, it is impossible for us to perform that function properly. He said, “So there must be a way to control that.” If we find ourselves in a situation where more doctors are needed to reach Mississippi via telemedicine, or physically enter Mississippi, then we will take appropriate action. But right now, the state faces the danger of its health system running out of capacity. Recent models that are used by national health officials to predict hospital needs show that Mississippi’s COVID care will not peak until April 19. The state will require more ICU beds than there are and more than 400 ventilators. The state has the highest COVID hospitalization rate in the country as of Wednesday. Gov. Gov. His focus has been, according to Thomas Dobbs (state health officer), on increasing testing capacity and case surveillance, isolation, and hospital surge capacity. Reeves stated that he has had conversations with state medical board members about a variety of measures that could be taken to alleviate the system’s pressure. Reeves said that officials are looking at creative ways to use auxiliary staff, even if they’re not working or on leave, but did no mention of out-of-state providers. He said, “We’re looking into ways to expand our capabilities should things get worse.” Dobbs said that many physicians in the state are currently underutilized due to postponement of non urgent care. He said, “The clinics have been empty and are not busy.” “We have decompressed this system. We prefer telehealth options if possible. If possible, we prefer that it is done via telehealth.