In another case of technology out pacing the law, telemedicine has continued to push the limits of state medical professional licensure laws.
Generally, physicians and nurses must be licensed in the state in which they are practicing; and yet technology has become so sophisticated that telemedicine is allowing those medical providers to provide access to medical care beyond the boundaries of an individual state.
To break down barriers of state lines, six states have enacted legislation that would adopt a licensure compact to allow nurses to practice telemedicine across state lines. The states are Idaho, Wyoming, Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, and South Dakota. These states allow licensed nurses to practice telemedicine for patients in any of these states utilizing their home state license, with conditions and restrictions.
The idea has caught on, and seven more states are considering similar provisions.
Opponents to nursing telemedicine and the licensure compact say that different licensing requirements could negatively impact patient care, as some state licensure agreements are more stringent than others.
On a similar note, New York has introduced regulations that would allow psychiatric providers to use telemedicine to consult with patients through live video conferencing, providing additional opportunities for patients to have greater access to psychiatric care.