Trending in Telehealth: June 25 – July 1, 2024

By and on July 2, 2024
Posted In Telehealth

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:

  • Interstate compacts
  • Medicaid reimbursement
  • Teledentistry
  • Professional standards
  • Behavioral and mental health

A CLOSER LOOK

Finalized Legislation & Rulemaking:

  • Rhode Island entered into the following compacts:
    • Social Work Licensure Compact (SB 2184)
    • Counseling Compact (SB 2183)
    • Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact (SB 2173)
    • Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact (SB 2623)
  • Louisiana enacted HB 888 which enters the state into the Social Work Licensure Compact.
  • In New Hampshire, the governor signed SB 411 which requires coverage of behavioral health or mental health crisis assessments, including both in-person and telehealth services for children and youth 21 years of age and younger.
  • In Illinois, the governor signed SB 1 which creates the Department of Early Childhood and transfers to it certain rights, powers, duties and functions currently exercised by various state agencies. The bill makes for provision of certain programs that have the ability to utilize telehealth as an option.
  • Ohio adopted a final rule that provides guidance from the Chemical Dependency Professional Board regarding the ethics and professional conduct of practice for certificate holders and licensees when using telehealth.

Legislation & Rulemaking Activity in Proposal Phase: 17

Highlights:

  • The Ohio Senate passed SB 211 that would enroll the state in the Dietitian Licensure Compact.
  • The Pennsylvania Senate passed SB 739 which would amend Title 40 (Insurance) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to provide for telemedicine. This bill updates definitions related to telemedicine and requirements for health insurance and Medicaid coverage of telemedicine services.
  • The lower chamber in Pennsylvania passed HB 2268 which defines telehealth for speech language pathology and requires coverage by payors.
  • The upper chamber in Pennsylvania passed SB 913 which would require parental consent for virtual mental health services provided by a school entity.
  • The Delaware House passed SB 301 which would require public universities to provide access to medication to terminate pregnancy and emergency contraception, including requirements for accommodating a student’s request for a telehealth appointment if the student health center is not equipped or staffed to provide the medication.
  • In Puerto Rico, the Senate passed PS 1136 which would establish the Dental Examining Board of Dentists, Hygienists, Dental Assistants, Dental Technicians or Technologists and, among other things, develop a framework for teledentistry. The bill includes items on consent, patient information protection, definitions and other items related to teledentistry.
  • Mississippi published a proposed rule that amends the Department of Mental Health’s rules concerning assessments for persons receiving mental health services and/or substance use services to allow initial and subsequent visits to be provided via telehealth.
  • New Mexico published a proposed rule that amends the New Mexico Administrative Code concerning specialized behavioral health providers to, among other changes, allow for telehealth assessments, diagnoses and consultations by specified providers of the multidisciplinary team.
  • Oregon published a proposed rule that makes changes to allow the Jail-based Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Grant Program to access funds for certain qualifying cities, counties, etc. Among the rules would be a requirement on how the funds would be spent and telehealth is included as an option.

Why it matters:

  • Interstate compacts continue to grow. Interstate compacts continue to add new states to their ranks. Just this week, Rhode Island joined four separate compacts: the Social Work Licensure Compact, the Counseling Compact, the Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact and the Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact. Rhode Island is joined by Louisiana as the 20th and 21st states, respectively, to enact the Social Work Compact.
  • States are increasing access and coverage for telemedicine services. Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Delaware and Puerto Rico are all considering or have passed bills expanding payor coverage to telemedicine services in varied areas including behavioral and mental health patients, dentistry and student populations.

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.

Lisa Mazur
Lisa Mazur advises health care providers and technology companies on a variety of legal, regulatory and compliance matters with a particular focus on digital health topics, including telehealth, telemedicine, mobile health and consumer wellness. Lisa advises a variety of health care providers and technology companies involved in “digital health,” including assisting clients in developing and implementing telemedicine programs by advising on issues related to professional licensure, scope of practice, informed consent, prescribing and reimbursement. Lisa helps clients identify and understand the relevant legal issues, and develop and implement practical, forward-thinking solutions and strategies that meet the complex and still-evolving digital health regulatory landscape.  Read Lisa Mazur's full bio.


Jae Hyun Lee
Jae Hyun Lee is a member of the Healthcare Practice Group. He focuses his practice on healthcare mergers and acquisitions as well as regulatory and compliance matters.Read Jae's full bio here.

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