The Georgia Composite Medical Board will vote today on a rule that would restrict nurse practitioners’ (NP) ability to provide telemedicine services. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC), the rule would require patients to have a face-to-face encounter with a physician before an NP can provide telemedicine care. The board’s medical director said the rule represents the group’s desire to take a conservative approach when it comes to new technology; however, nurse practitioner advocates find the rule unnecessary and inconsistent with the state’s current requirements. “This is absurd because Georgia law does not require that in any other form of practice, so why would it be required in telemedicine,” Debbie Hackman, CEO for the Georgia Nurses Association, told AJC. State scope of practice laws require NPs to practice under physician supervision, but it does not require a physician visit before NPs can provide in-person care. The new rule would also create an additional barrier for patients, especially those in rural areas, who rely on telemedicine technology to communicate with providers miles away.