Trending in Telehealth is a 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
- Telehealth Flexibilities
A CLOSER LOOK
Finalized Legislation & Rulemaking
- The North Carolina General Assembly voted to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of SB 20. Dubbed the Care for Women, Children, and Families Act, SB 20 operates to reduce access to reproductive health services, including by eliminating the provider’s ability to give patients information contained in the relevant consent form over the telephone. The legislation takes effect July 1.
Legislation and Rulemaking Activity in Proposal Phase
- Alaska progressed legislation (SB 75) in the first chamber to join the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact.
- Illinois progressed legislation (SB 2123) in the first chamber to adopt the Counseling Compact.
- Oregon progressed legislation (SB 232) that would update the Oregon Medical Board’s telemedicine regulations at 52 O.R.S. §§ 677.080 and 677.137 to clarify that the practice of medicine occurs where a patient is physically located.
- Texas continued to progress legislation (HB 1771) that would require each agency with regulatory authority over a health professional providing a telemedicine, teledentistry or telehealth to adopt rules to standardize formats for and retention of records related to a patient’s consent to treatment, data collection and data sharing.
- Texas also progressed legislation (HB 617) in the first chamber that would establish a pilot project to provide emergency medical and prehospital care instruction through telemedicine/telehealth services by regional trauma resource centers to healthcare providers in rural area trauma facilities.
Why it matters:
- Interstate compact adoption remains elevated. States continue to progress legislation that would enact licensure compacts across healthcare professions. This week, Alaska and Illinois took steps to adopt compacts that would ease out-of-state licensure hurdles and improve shared systems across public agencies.
- Texas addresses rural care via telehealth. Many states are progressing legislation that would permanently extend telehealth flexibilities to allow providers to practice across counties and use technologies to reach and educate patients in rural low-access areas.
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.