The U.S. has a major nursing and physician shortage, especially in remote areas. Alaska is one state in which the need for remote access to medical care is especially important, and a telemedicine program is being implemented as a potential solution.
Alaska legislators have recently worked on a bill that would allow physicians licensed in Alaska but located out-of-state to provide telehealth services with the same privileges given to in-state doctors. The bill has the support of both the Federal Trade Commission and the Alaska State Medical Association.
It is thought that by eliminating the requirement that physicians be located “in-state,” the supply of telemedicine providers could be expanded. This may ultimately benefit health care consumers in Alaska, including the most vulnerable populations.
These findings were published in HealthLeaders Media on March 30, 2016.