The Great State of Arkansas was ranked last among all states in a recent report by the American Telemedicine Association on telemedicine practice standards. The good news is the Arkansas Board of Medicine indicated plans to address this issue through new rules this year. Its Telemedicine Advisory Committee is working on an advisory opinion or new regulations regarding telemedicine. Currently, Arkansas Code 17-80-117, enacted in April 2015, and Regulation No. 2(8) of the Arkansas State Medical Board, require an initial in-person encounter to establish a valid physician-patient relationship. The Board’s Committee circulated draft rules in October, which if enacted would improve the practice environment by allowing a doctor to establish a relationship with a patient “using a face-to-face real-time audio and visual technology” in certain situations.
Interested telemedicine companies and healthcare providers looking to offer telemedicine services in Arkansas should review the draft rules and consider contacting policymakers to make your voice heard regarding the practice standards.
The draft rules provide as follows:
For more information on telemedicine, telehealth, and virtual care innovations, including the team, publications, and other materials, visit Foley’s Telemedicine Practice.