On February 23, a group of Mississippi legislators introduced S.B. 2071, which allows different telehealth options of meeting first-time patients. The bill gives providers the options of meeting first-time patients via video or through a phone call.
Due to the vague wordings that permits phone-based encounters, Mississippi State Medical Association and several Mississippi state legislators fought firmly against S.B. 2071. They argued that a phone-based consult should not be allowed to establish the doctor-patient relationship, and that video should be mandated.
However, for the time being, Mississippi state lawmakers have decided to leave in phone-based consulting for first-time patients meeting. Lawmakers will not pursue any changes to the current law during the next legislative session because there is still an ongoing debate about whether or not to place restrictions on certain telehealth consults and mandate others. Mississippi’s lawmakers don’t see any foreseeable agreement being achieved with this issue currently. To learn more about Mississippi’s telehealth rule, S.B. 2071, please read here.