North Dakota Telemedicine Rule Recognizes Critical PA Role

NDAPA Influences Rule to Remove Co-location Provision

August 27, 2018

The North Dakota Board of Medicine (board) recently finalized telemedicine rules that recognize the critical role PAs play in North Dakota healthcare. As originally proposed, the rule would have required the PA and physician be co-located in the same state to use telemedicine. This could have limited patient access to care. At the urging of the North Dakota Academy of PAs (NDAPA) and AAPA, the board removed this onerous provision.

This is especially critical for PAs who may work for a group that provides remote patient monitoring, where it is conceivable that the PA could be in Iowa while the physician is in Minnesota. Similarly, a group that provides telepsychiatry may include remote providers from several states. Generally, telemedicine requires the providers to be licensed in the state in which the patient is located at the time care is provided. So even though the PA could be in Iowa and the physician in Minnesota, if the patient is in North Dakota, the PA and the physician would need to be licensed in North Dakota.

Since current requirements already assure close PA and physician collaboration, the geographic proximity of PAs and physicians should not be relevant and a requirement that the PA and physician be in the same state is unnecessary. With the rule amended and the co-location provision removed, PAs and physicians are treated equally as licensees of the board.

For more information, contact Adam S. Peer, director of Constituent Organization Outreach and Advocacy at AAPA.