VA Proposes Allowing Telehealth Providers to Bypass State Licensing Laws to Reach More Veterans

On September 29, 2017, the Veterans Affairs Department announced the proposal of a new rule that will expand telehealth services to veterans. The ‘Anywhere to Anywhere’ program allows for VA providers to deliver telehealth services across state borders, without being impeded by state licensing requirements. By allowing patients to access providers in different states, the VA expects to be able to grow their telehealth program and reach more veterans who are in need of care – specifically mental health services. In fiscal year 2016, the VA provided telehealth services to more than 700,000 veterans across the USi. This sets an important precedent in the ongoing evolution of telehealth service delivery. The location-based licensing of healthcare providers is likely to continue to become less and less important, as technology continues to knock down barriers to healthcare.