Trending in Telehealth: December 14, 2023 – December 20, 2023

By and on December 22, 2023

Trending in Telehealth highlights state legislative and regulatory developments that impact the healthcare providers, telehealth and digital health companies, pharmacists and technology companies that deliver and facilitate the delivery of virtual care.

Trending in the past week:

  • Telehealth pilot programs
  • Standards of practice

Finalized Legislation & Rulemaking

  • Effective February 1, 2024, the Wisconsin Hearing and Speech Examining Board clarified, by final rule, the standard of care for hearing instrument specialists and audiologists. The final rule defines telehealth; expands the scope of unprofessional conduct; and requires licensure for a person engaged in the practice of selling or fitting hearing aids to a patient located in the state, whether in-person or via telehealth.

Legislation & Rulemaking Activity in Proposal Phase

  • New Jersey continues to progress Assembly Bill 5311. If enacted, the bill will enter New Jersey into the Counseling Compact.
  • Wisconsin progressed AB 573 and AB 541. AB 573 directs the Department of Health Services to establish a pilot program to implement virtual behavioral health crisis care services for use by county or municipal law enforcement agencies in the field. The service will connect law enforcement officers who encounter persons in crisis to behavioral healthcare services. AB 541 provides that no mental health care provider may be required to be licensed, registered, certified or otherwise approved to practice in Wisconsin to provide mental health services by telehealth to patients located in Wisconsin if the mental health care provider satisfies certain conditions, including:
    • the mental health care provider is licensed, registered, certified or otherwise approved to practice in the state in which the provider is physically present when providing telehealth services;
    • the mental health care provider may provide telehealth services in Wisconsin within the scope of his or her license, registration, certification or approval from the state from which the mental health care provider is providing telehealth services; and
    • the mental health care provider informs the patient whether the provider is licensed in Wisconsin, what state he or she is providing telehealth services from, what states in which he or she is licensed, registered, certified or otherwise approved to practice, and which regulatory boards the patient may contact to file a complaint.
  • The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners issued a proposed rule that would amend 22 Tex. Admin. Code § 111.5 related to electronic prescribing waivers. The proposed amendment removes the requirement that a dentist must submit a written statement and supporting documentation describing the circumstances necessitating a waiver, and instead requires a dentist to attest to the circumstances necessitating a waiver. The board indicates that the amendment will make it less burdensome on the dentist when submitting a waiver request to the board and it will make the Board’s waiver process more efficient. The comment deadline is January 14, 2024.

Why it matters:

  • States continue to progress and pass legislation establishing telehealth pilot programs across multiple healthcare specialties. Pilot programs, such as the program proposed in Wisconsin related to behavioral health, are important evolutions in the use of telehealth modalities to increase access to healthcare in vulnerable populations.
  • States continue to amend and clarify telehealth-related standards of care. Following the advent of novel telehealth-related modalities, states continue to adopt and revise the definition of various standards of care to address telehealth-related concerns and provide certainty for providers predominately practicing via telehealth.

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.

Marshall E. Jackson, Jr.
Marshall E. Jackson, Jr. focuses his practice on transactional and regulatory counseling for clients in the health care industry, as well as advises clients on the legal, regulatory and compliance aspects of digital health. Marshall provides counseling and advice to hospitals and health systems, private equity firms and their portfolio companies, post/sub-acute providers, physician practices, and other public and private health care companies in a variety of complex transactions and health regulatory compliance matters. Read Marshall Jackson's full bio.

Taylor Hood
Taylor Hood advises healthcare companies on a variety of litigation, regulatory and healthcare policy matters. Taylor focuses his practice on issues that arise in the managed care sector for both payors and providers, including provider payments, health benefits and insurance practices. Learn more about Taylor's practice:




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