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HRSA collaborates with State Medical Boards on portability guidelines

August 1, 2013

The surge of interest and indeed, the need for access to practitioners of all licensed stripes is gaining traction with the Federal government.

The prevalent issue is portability of licenses across state lines. The dilemma exists when a patient/client is treated by a practitioner who is not located in the state they reside in. Should a complaint arise, which state medical licensing board should investigate?

Currently, the Federation of State Medical Boards recommendation is that the practice of medicine happens where the patient is located.

With the boom in remote patient monitoring,  technology advancing at a rapid pace to provide real time, face-to-face consultations and a severe shortage in primary care physicians, the stage is set to maximize our doctor/client ratio using telehealth delivery systems.

Modern Physician, quotes Kevin Bohnenblust, Executive Director of the Wyoming Board of Medicine, calling the clarification of telemedicine and mobility of license issues “the next revolution in medical licensing”.

HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is working with the Federation of State Medical Boards to bring the administration’s guidelines into alignment with the needs of the healthcare industry to reach more patients with remote care delivery.

Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, Administrator of HRSA, was a passionate speaker at the recent ATA conference, clearly advocating for increased understanding of the changing landscape in healthcare delivery.

Active collaboration will hopefully yield strategies that allow the progression to multi state practices while protecting patients.

The real sleeper here are the professions that do not require licensure due the lack of ability to “harm” a patient. That is usually interpreted as professions that do not perform surgery or prescribe drugs. These professions are state certified or nationally certified and abide by typical standards of practice and ethics sanctioned by the organization’s administrative guidelines.

Professions that are not governed by state licensing boards can provide real-time telehealth consultations and information prescriptions across state lines with impunity. Homeopathy, a 200 year old system of medicine, is a perfect example.

A viable strategy to consider would be immediate inclusion and mobilization of the integrative healthcare workforce that does not require state licensure.

The disruptive innovator is even better. The majority of these professions are cash for service. Decoupling skyrocketing medical costs from insurance companies cuts out the middle man.

Enter responsible purchasing of healthcare services with transparent pricing by the individual.

Think highly trained professionals whose services are effective, patient-centric, and cost efficient.

Think ease of delivery via telehealth computers, tablets, smartphones.

Portability of medical licenses, yes. Integrative telehealthcare,YES!

I agree with Mr. Bonenblust, bring on the revolution!

 

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