House Bill 1178 was approved by the lower chamber 103-17 and was sent to the Senate Public Health and Welfare.
The legislation is a result of telemedicine companies and businesses that were concerned about the Mississippi Medical Licensure Board’s proposals that they saw as restricting the practice, said Rep. Sam Mims, R-McComb, lead author of the measure.
One of the major telemedicine practitioners in the state, Teladoc Inc., opposed the rules, which were filed with the Secretary of State’s office in March 2015. The company demanded an economic impact statement.
The board said in August that it would provide one, possibly the next month. As of Tuesday, no such statement has been finalized, said Dr. H. Vann Craig, executive director of the board. Craig said that he has tendered his resignation, effective March 25. “Let’s just say I’m needed at home,” said Craig, who added that he does not have a medical practice.
A draft of the impact statement has been done, Craig said. The board has shelved its proposed rules for the time being, he said in an earlier interview.
The absence of the board action, the legislation would replace an outdated law passed in 1997. The one-page state law, 73-25-34, says only that physicians from outside the state have to be licensed in Mississippi.