Introducing a seven-part series of daily posts on the proposed rule, October 16 – 24, 2014.

After months of subcommittee study, review, and discussions with health care providers, the Iowa Board of Medicine (IBM) has filed a proposed rule governing physician use of telemedicine in our state. The IBM’s initial release set a public hearing on the rule for November, but official publication of the rule has been delayed and a new public hearing date has yet to be set. Given the complexity of this proposed rule, its potential disciplinary and liability repercussions for physicians, and its impact on telemedicine medical delivery, now is the time to carefully review the rule’s many requirements and to suggest revisions as appropriate.

The rule proposes standards of practice for medical services delivered via telemedicine, violations of which subject physicians to licensee discipline. No law has been passed by the Iowa General Assembly to guide this telemedicine rulemaking. The IBM, however, consulted many recognized resources and met with physician and hospital representatives, among others, to guide the rule’s development.

The resulting draft proposal is broad in its reach, comprehensive in its requirements, and carries potential liability repercussions for physicians beyond licensee discipline. If adopted, physicians using telemedicine in Iowa would be highly regulated in and uniquely and individually responsible for a wide range of specific requirements. Physicians are encouraged to review the draft rule with a careful eye.

The proposed rule is available on the IBM’s website at, or directly through this link.

Starting today and for each of the next six business days (through October 24), we will post highlights on selected provisions of the rule. These posts will first providing a summary of each proposed requirement, and secondly will set forth points of considerations for physicians and others to conduct their own analyses of the rule’s provisions. We recognize the dedicated work of the IBM in moving forward in this difficult arena of medical regulation. We believe it is critical, however, that physician expertise and experiences inform the regulatory standards proposed in this rulemaking. In offering our considerations on the many requirements of the proposed rule, we, too, accede to physician knowledge and advice in this unique and expanding arena of medical practice.

This October 17, 2014 posting will address: 1) the proposed rule’s definition of telemedicine; 2) applicability of the proposed rule’s standards to physicians who “use”telemedicine; and 3) the proposed rule’s requirement for active Iowa licensure.

See our page dedicated to Telemedicine for all related articles, including our most current post.