Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals do not have to make changes to implement new telemedicine credentialing and privileging elements of performance by a July 15, 2010 deadline, says The Joint Commission (TJC). The deadline for implementing the new elements of performance has been pushed to March 2011.
TJC had issued new elements of performance which were in compliance with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) requirements for telemedicine services. The CMS requirements currently disallow the "credentialing by proxy" system that is supported by The Joint Commission's current standards. The "credentialing by proxy" system is intended to support access to telemedicine services by allowing the hospital where the patient is located, to rely on the credentialing and privileging data of a hospital where the provider is currently privileged in making its own decisions on that provider.
CMS has issued a proposed rule that would make the CMS telemedicine requirements in accordance with TJC's "credentialing by proxy" system. For this reason, CMS allowed TJC to delay implementation of the new elements of performance that are aligned with the current CMS CoPs until March 2011.
Source: The Joint Commission