Lacktman Discusses Joint Commission’s Decision to Hold Off on Proposed Changes to Telehealth Standards

11 October 2017 Fierce Healthcare News
Partner Nathaniel Lacktman was quoted in a Fierce Healthcare article, “Joint Commission Pulls Back Proposed Telehealth Standards,” covering the impact of the Joint Commission’s decision to not move forward with proposed changes that would have added new burdens to hospitals and ambulatory care clinics with telehealth programs. The proposal would have required hospitals providing direct-to-telehealth services to obtain informed consent from patients about the type of care and the modality used. The new standards were viewed by many as an additional burden.

“It’s really problematic for hospitals that spent a lot of time and resources and thoughtfulness in building out patient-centered innovative telehealth programs only to have a relatively esoteric Joint Commission standard come into effect and turn that all upside down,” Lacktman said.

But Lacktman said he also was pleased to see the Joint Commission back off the proposed standards and continue evaluating the feedback it had received. “I think that shows they are willing to listen to providers and hospitals in the telemedicine industry,” he said. “What that does mean is hospitals and telemedicine providers need to take time to submit comments or their feedback.”