The Mississippi Department of Health took no public comments Monday at a public meeting over its proposed telehealth regulations.
The regulations would require any telehealth provider to register with the Mississippi Department of Health’s Office of Licensure after they register as a business in Mississippi with the Secretary of State’s office. Each registration would be good for two years and cost a provider $50.
The registration certification is non-transferrable and any change in ownership by the permittee will require new registration.
Written comments on the proposed regulations will be taken until Friday and presented to the state Board of Health before their meeting next month.
Melissa Parker, the director of the Office of Licensure and Certification, said there had been no written comments submitted as of the Monday meeting and that the agency will take written comments until close of business Friday.
The popularity of telemedicine in Mississippi has exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic and state agencies were quick to expand access in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The state Division of Medicaid expanded its coverage of telehealth services after Gov. Tate Reeves’s emergency declaration was issued last March.
The Mississippi Department of Medical Licensure, which is the licensing agency for physicians, issued a proclamation last March that said it wouldn’t enforce any regulations governing the examination of patients prior to the prescription of medication to encourage the use of telemedicine.
The proclamation was originally written to allow any licensed out-of-state physician who didn’t have a Mississippi license to see patients via telemedicine, but was later amended to only those out-of-state physicians with an existing doctor-patient relationship.
The state Department of Insurance has directed insurers to adopt procedures that would encourage policyholders to use telemedicine. The initial bulletin was supposed to expire last May but has been extended for the duration of the governor’s state of emergency declaration.