In a recent letter (PDF) to the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), the AMA expressed strong support for "The Appropriate Use of Telemedicine Technologies in the Practice of Medicine," a model policy that was recently updated and will be considered for adoption by the FSMB House of Delegates. FSMB chair, Ken Simons, MD, convened a telemedicine workgroup last year which included AMA’s President-elect Jack Resneck, MD.

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The workgroup was tasked with reviewing and updating the policy, which was originally drafted in 2014, based on the changing telemedicine landscape and lessons learned throughout the pandemic. The updated policy has been approved by the FSMB Board of Directors and will now be considered for adoption by the FSMB House of Delegates at their Annual Meeting on April 30, 2022.

The AMA applauds the updated policy as “both forward-thinking and grounded in the realities of the current practice of medicine,” wrote AMA Executive Vice President and CEO James L. Madara, MD.

“It is also focused on those issues that are uniquely within the purview of the state medical boards, such as creating limited exceptions to licensure, ensuring physicians and other health care professionals adhere to the appropriate standard of care when providing telemedicine, and supporting equitable access to telemedicine.”

The AMA encourages the FSMB House of Delegates to adopt the updated Telemedicine Policy in its entirety.

In conjunction with the Vermont Medical Society, the AMA has submitted a letter (PDF) to the Vermont Legislature in support of S. 247, which would prohibit the discriminatory use of an individual’s genetic information by insurance companies other than those offering health insurance. Although the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits the discriminatory use of genetic information when it comes to health insurance coverage (and employment), GINA does not apply to other types of insurance, such as life and long-term care.

S. 247 is important because it would extend protection against genetic discrimination to life, long-term care and other types of insurance, which is also consistent with AMA policy. S. 247 has passed the Vermont Senate and is currently in the Vermont House of Representatives.

A new primer (PDF) from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health details specific programs and strategies to implement to ensure that opioid litigation funds are focused on evidence-based initiatives to reduce overdose and other harms related to the nation’s drug-related overdose epidemic. The “Primer of Spending Funds from the Opioid Litigation: A Guide for State and Local Decision Makers” provides specific “How to” recommendations to help states:

  • Broaden access to naloxone
  • Increase use of medications to treat opioid use disorder
  • Provide treatment and support during pregnancy and the postpartum period
  • Expand services for neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome
  • Fund warm hand-off programs and recovery services
  • Improve treatment in jails and prisons
  • Enrich prevention strategies
  • Expand harm reduction programs
  • Support data collection and research

The primer is the most recent resource stemming from the Principles for the Use of Funds From the Opioid Litigation (PDF), which is supported by the AMA and more than 50 national organizations. The AMA encourages all states to consider adopting legislation or other policy to ensure that opioid litigation or settlement funds are directed for public health uses. Email the Advocacy Resource Center for more information.

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