AMA issues statement on VA telehealth proposed rule

The AMA released the following statement on September 29, 2017 on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposed rule concerning the authority of employed VA health care providers to practice telehealth. 
 
“The AMA supports expansion of clinically validated telehealth services within the VA, and this decision ensures that important patient protections are in place for the delivery of high quality and reliable care.  The VA has a unique federally controlled healthcare system with essential safeguards to help ensure that both in-person and virtual beneficiary care meet and exceed the standard of care.  The AMA strongly supports that the proposed rule explicitly provides that this program’s multi-state licensure exception applies only to VA-employed providers and would not be expanded to contracted physicians or providers who are not directly controlled and supervised by the VA and would not necessarily have the same training, staff support, shared access to a beneficiary’s EHR and infrastructure capabilities.  We applaud the VA’s expansion of telehealth services in a manner that promotes quality and access.”