Proposed telemedicine regulation changes are under scrutiny at t - - Jackson, MS

Proposed telemedicine regulation changes are under scrutiny at the State Capitol

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Call a doctor and get a diagnosis and prescription; Is that a convenience or a risk? Those questions are coming up about legislation that would change current telemedicine regulations.

White coats filled a room of the Capitol Thursday. All of them worried that allowing patients the choice of phoning in to a doctor could be dangerous.

"It's like practicing while wearing a blindfold," noted Dr. Dan Edney, Mississippi State Medical Association President. "And can you imagine going to your doctor and him or her walking into the exam room with a blindfold on?"

Mississippi law currently bans audio only telemedicine. House Bill 1178 wouldn't let companies offer audio alone. But would give it as an option for the patient. 

"This bill will offer an inferior brand of telemedicine," added Dr. Tom Joiner.

Yet, caregiver Millicent Phillips doesn't want to be boxed out of options.

"I'm for all the help that I can receive within my home as a caregiver to be a greater assistance of the patient on taking care of," said Phillips.

Opponents say that even with the requirement of a Mississippi medical license, that doctor on the other end of the line could live anywhere. Charlie Ross is an attorney for the large telemedicine company Teledoc.

"Mississippi needs to be about expanding options for Mississippi consumers not raising artificial barriers," said Ross. "There does not need to be an economic turf battle to protect physicians who live in Mississippi. We had that for too long. That's why we're on the bottom."

The AARP wants to see the bill become law. While, the state medical association continues to lobbying against it. 

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