The Iowa Board of Medicine began a rule-making process to establish standards of practice for telemedicine by establishing a rule that defines telemedicine, a valid physician-patient relationship, informed consent, and technology requirements for physicians who use electronic communications, information technology or other means of interaction between a physician in one location and a patient in another.
As is common in most of the states, the rule requires out-of-state physicians to have a valid Iowa medical license if they diagnose and treat patients located in Iowa.
The rule will be published in the Iowa Administrative Bulletin on October 29 and a public hearing will be held November 18. For the rule to become effective, the Board must vote to adopt it.
The Robert J. Waters Center for Telehealth and e-Health Law (CTeL) will provide comments to the Iowa Board on this proposed regulation using CTeL’s telemedicine guidelines as the criteria:
- The telemedicine encounter must be equal or superior to the same encounter done in-person.
- The telemedicine diagnosis and treatment must conform to the standard of care.
- The telemedicine encounter must incorporate peripherals (e.g. otoscope, stethoscope) or diagnostic tests if necessary to confirm the diagnosis.
- “On call” privileges used by a physician must be through an established agreement between the patient’s personal physician and covering physician, compliant with state law governing on call relationships between practitioners.