Time To Blitz Your Board

September 26, 2012 by InTouch Health

As you might expect, American Telemedicine Association CEO Jon Linkous has many insights on telemedicine’s biggest challenges and its winning strategies. This blog will examine one of the challenges, and next week we’ll look at the unlikely allies who are helping advance the cause of telemedicine.

When we spoke to Jon recently, he felt that poorly informed state medical boards constitute telemedicine’s biggest hurdle at the moment. They’re still basically clueless about many aspects of telemedicine, and that’s why the rules concerning multi-state licensure are still in the Stone Age.

But Linkous rightly maintains that medical board bureaucrats (like all bureaucrats) can eventually change their minds if they get the proper education and persuasion. The key here is consistent, ongoing outreach to medical boards – and we all have a role to play.

Be an advocate for telemedicine at your state’s next medical board public meeting.

Every state medical board (and some states have more than one) hosts a monthly meeting open to the public – with schedules released far in advance. So it’s quite easy for telemedicine advocates to get on the agenda in their respective states. Like Woody Allen once said, “Ninety percent of success is just showing up.”

It’s really that simple. First, find out what your state board’s telemedicine policies are by clicking on this link: http://www.fsmb.org/pdf/grpol_telemedicine_licensure.pdf

Then use the link below to find the address and meeting schedule for your state board:

http://www.fsmb.org/directory_smb.html

Many of the board officials know less about bandwidth than your teenagers, so be patient. You may encounter people who think that if Hippocrates didn’t need telemedicine, neither should we. But don’t forget that many modern legislative miracles – like the Americans with Disabilities Act – were the result of many years of persistent plugging and nonstop education.

We all need to double-down in our efforts to educate state medical boards. This is one battle that can’t be won by giving it a “tele” prefix. You must be present to win.

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