Health I.T. is marching forward on many fronts. But July 15 might be the day, barring Congressional intervention, that telemedicine moves in the opposite direction. On that day the Joint Commission’s “privilege by proxy” program bites the dust, which could have serious ramifications for the industry.

Privilege by proxy permitted hospitals to credential telemedicine practitioners from a distant site based on the credentialing/privileging decisions at that distant site. In a nutshell, it allowed physicians from large hospitals to provide telemedicine services to small or rural facilities without having to go through the credentialing process twice (as long as both hospitals were Joint Commission-accredited).

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