ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Legal Newsline) – The Federal Trade Commission submitted comments as public testimony to the Alaska Legislature for proposed legislation that would allow licensed Alaska physicians from out-of-state to provide telehealth services.
Telehealth services are an important part of the Alaska health care system due to the state’s large and rural nature. As it stands, only in-state physicians can provide these services. The new legislation would change that by allowing out-of-state physicians that are licensed to do business in Alaska to provide telehealth services.
“By eliminating the ‘in-state’ requirement, SB 74 would likely expand the supply of telehealth providers, promote competition, and increase access to safe and cost-effective care. It could also reduce transportation costs for Alaska patients and providers. For these reasons, the elimination of the ‘in-state’ requirement by SB 74 appears to be a procompetitive improvement in the law that would benefit Alaska health care consumers, including its most vulnerable populations,” the comment states.
The FTC voted 4-0 to approve the issuance of the staff comment.