Liberating Telemedicine

Capitol Hill Briefing
November 15, 2017
12:00PM to 1:00PM EST
2075 Rayburn House Office Building
Featuring Brian Schatz (D-HI), United States Senator; Shirley Svorny, Adjunct Scholar, Cato Institute; and Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies, Cato Institute; moderated by Peter Russo, Director of Congressional Affairs, Cato Institute.

One of the most promising areas of medical innovation is the expansion of telemedicine, where medical professionals treat patients across great distances using electronic communications. A significant barrier to the widespread use of telemedicine is the requirement that physicians obtain licenses from each state in which their current or potential patients are, or may be, located.

To overcome this and to liberate this exciting development in health-care delivery, there are principally four reforms lawmakers could adopt: the first is to eliminate government licensing of medical professionals altogether. The second is to redefine the location of the interaction between patient and physician from that of the patient to that of the physician. A third option is for individual states to open their markets to physicians licensed in other states, or to join other states in reciprocal agreements to honor each other’s licenses. Finally, the federal government could offer national telemedicine licenses.

Join our panel of experts who will discuss the options; weigh their comparative strengths and weaknesses; and moreover, underscore the promise of telemedicine to health care, the economy, and beyond.