Telemedicine Credentialing By Proxy and Hospital Policies
Provider Credentialing requirements raise important considerations in any telemedicine arrangement. The facility where care is received, renders a diagnosis, or otherwise provides clinical treatment to a patient, must assure that a telemedicine practitioner is appropriately credentialed and privileged in compliance with their credentialing process, CMS rules, and the requirements of applicable accreditation organizations. The process for credentialing telemedicine providers should be addressed by the governing body and reflected in medical staff bylaws and formal credentialing policies.
Credentialing standards have been somewhat streamlined since CMS adopted new regulations that were effective in June of 2011. CMS rules now permit “credentialing by proxy” provided that several conditions are met. It remains the responsibility of the board to determine when or if it wishes to rely on “credentialing by proxy” or whether it should apply full credentialing requirements on remote providers of telemedicine services. Even though the process has been simplified, credentialing of providers who perform telemedicine services to patients of a hospital is still an extremely important responsibility of the hospital board.