Telemedicine Principles

January 2018  


Various telemedicine technologies have been available for over 40 years, but interest in and demand for telemedicine services are increasing. Telemedicine is growing in popularity because of its potential to increase access to care, lower costs, and make certain types of medical visits more convenient for patients. ISMS supports the appropriate development and use of telemedicine technologies, but issues surrounding telemedicine are complex, and there are important factors physicians need to consider before they commit to providing telemedicine services.

Background on Telemedicine

Per the Illinois Medical Practice Act, telemedicine includes providing “written or oral opinions concerning diagnosis or treatment of a patient in Illinois by a person in a different location than the patient as a result of transmission of individual patient data by telephonic, electronic, or other means of communication” (225 ILCS 60/49.5). Telemedicine is a tool that allows the practice of medicine to occur when the physician and patient are not at the same physical location.

Key Point: State licensure laws and rules determine who is eligible to practice telemedicine and under what conditions. To provide telemedicine services to patients located in Illinois, a physician must be licensed to practice medicine in Illinois. Not all states treat this matter the same, and it is recommended that physicians review the medical practice laws in the states where they are considering providing telemedicine services. See the ISMS Medical Legal Guideline, Telemedicine Tips, for more information about laws and regulations governing the practice of telemedicine.

To view this Issue Brief in its entirety, please log in.

Cookie Consent

Cookies are required for some functionality on our site. View our privacy policy for more information.