AMA states support for VA telehealth expansion

The American Medical Association (AMA) has released a statement supporting the proposed rule aimed at expanding telehealth services within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The rule proposed by the VA will change regulations to standardizing the delivery of care through telehealth. VA healthcare providers would be able to give all beneficiaries the same level of care, regardless of state or location of the VA provider. The rule aims to increase access to mental health, specialty and general clinical care to all beneficiaries.

In response, the AMA released the following statement in support of the proposed rule:

“The AMA supports expansion of clinically validated telehealth services within the VA, and this decision ensures that important patient protections are in place for the delivery of high quality and reliable care,” stated Chair-elect of the AMA Board of Trustees Jack Resneck Jr., MD. “The VA has a unique federally controlled healthcare system with essential safeguards to help ensure that both in-person and virtual beneficiary care meet and exceed the standard of care. The AMA strongly supports that the proposed rule explicitly provides that this program’s multi-state licensure exception applies only to VA-employed providers and would not be expanded to contracted physicians or providers who are not directly controlled and supervised by the VA and would not necessarily have the same training, staff support, shared access to a beneficiary’s EHR and infrastructure capabilities. We applaud the VA’s expansion of telehealth services in a manner that promotes quality and access.”