Trending in Telehealth is a new series from the McDermott digital health team in which we highlight state legislative and regulatory developments that impact healthcare providers, telehealth and digital health companies, pharmacists and technology companies that deliver and facilitate virtual care.
Trending in the past week:
- Interstate Compacts
- COVID-19 Extensions for Licensing
- Behavioral Health
A CLOSER LOOK
Finalized Legislation & Rulemaking
- In Tennessee, HB 729 was signed into law. Under the legislation, a physician available via telephone or telehealth meets the general supervision requirements for a speech language pathologist performing an endoscope. The law becomes effective on July 1, 2023.
- In Kentucky, HB 311 was enacted. The legislation prohibits the Department for Medicaid Services and any Medicaid managed care organization from requiring that a health professional or medical group maintain a physical location or address in the state to be eligible for enrollment as a Medicaid provider if the provider or group exclusively offers services via telehealth.
- In New Mexico, HB 384 requires the licensing board to issue a telemedicine license to applicants who hold a full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in another state or territory of the United States. The board will establish by rule the requirements for licensure, provided that the requirements are not more restrictive than those required for expedited licensure.
Legislation & Rulemaking Activity in Proposal Phase
- In Kansas (HB 2288), Missouri (SB 70), Montana (HB 777) and North Dakota (SB 2187), legislation to establish the Counseling Compact progressed. In Montana (SB 155) and Indiana (SB 73), legislation to enact the Occupational Therapy Compact progressed.
- Florida introduced legislation (SB 300) that would prohibit physicians from using telehealth to provide abortions or prescribe abortion-inducing medication. It would also require the physical in-person presence of a physician with a patient when an abortion is performed or when abortion-inducing medication is dispensed.
- Maryland progressed legislation (SB 582) that would extend until June 30, 2025, the inclusion of certain audio-only telephone conversations in the definition of “telehealth” in the Maryland Medical Assistance Program, as well as requirements related to reimbursement for telehealth services by the program and certain insurers, nonprofit health service plans and health maintenance organizations.
- Georgia proposed legislation (SB 20) that would prohibit insurers from the following:
- Requiring prior authorization, medical review or administrative clearance for a telehealth service that would not be required if such service were provided in person
- Requiring demonstration that it is necessary to provide a service to a covered person through telehealth
- Requiring a provider to be employed by another provider or agency in order to provide a telehealth service when such employment would not be required if the service were provided in person
- Denying coverage solely based on the communication technology or application used
- Requiring a provider to be a part of a telehealth network
- Requiring a covered person to utilize telehealth or telemedicine in lieu of a nonparticipating provider accessible for in-person consultation or contact
- Paying a facility fee to a hospital for telehealth services unless the hospital is the originating site as defined in subsection (b) of Code Section 33-24-56.4.
Why it matters:
- Elevated activity involving the adoption of interstate compacts continues. Many states are progressing legislation that would enact various licensure compacts across various professions, easing burdens to licensure and reciprocity for professionals seeking to practice across state lines.
- States continue to address licensure and modality flexibilities. Many states are progressing legislation that would either permanently or temporarily extend pandemic flexibilities that allow providers to practice across state lines and use technologies other than real-time audiovisual interactions.
Telehealth is an important development in care delivery, but the regulatory patchwork is complicated. The McDermott digital health team works alongside the industry’s leading providers, payors and technology innovators to help them enter new markets, break down barriers to delivering accessible care and mitigate enforcement risk through proactive compliance. Are you working to make healthcare more accessible through telehealth? Let us help you transform telehealth.