Rules regarding licensing of physicians impact telemedicine services, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Telemedicine proved its worth during the pandemic, providing medical visits to millions. Now barriers to continue to allow telemedicine services are curtailing them. Brian Hasselfeld, director of telemedicine at Johns Hopkins, says a big one is physician licensure.

Hasselfeld: The rule of the road is I must be licensed where you, the patient, are physically located at the time of the visit. In a world of expanded telemedicine care, you could be anywhere of course. That also means I need to be licensed anywhere potentially, or I can’t see you. And so now we’re stuck with this really difficult situation. You my patient. I know you, you know me, we have a trusted relationship. You happen to travel 45 minutes to the north and you’re in Pennsylvania. I’m not licensed there. I cannot care for you, legally.  :30

Hasselfeld says some states have limited agreements with one another, and these may be helpful in the short term. A longer term solution is needed however, since many specialty care visits simply aren’t practical in person for many people. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.