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:
- Inmate Health
- Interstate Compacts
A CLOSER LOOK
Finalized Legislation and Rulemaking
- Florida enacted legislation, HB 267, eliminating the explicit exclusion of audio-only telephone calls from the definition of telehealth in Florida’s telehealth practice standards. Accordingly, telephones are now a permitted telecommunications technology to provide telehealth services in Florida. Sponsored by Representative Fabricio, the bill passed the Florida Legislature unanimously and will take effect on July 1, 2023.
- Vermont, in response to the US Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs, enacted the Shield Bill, S 37, providing protections to patients and providers that receive or administer abortion and gender-affirming care.
Legislation and Rulemaking Activity in Proposal Phase
- Iowa sent legislation to the governor, HF 671, that would establish the Professional Counselors Licensure Compact for professional counselors.
- Louisiana progressed legislation, SB 186, that would allow Louisiana to join the Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact.
- Missouri progressed legislation in the Second Chamber, SB 70, that would adopt the interstate Counseling Compact for professional counselors.
- Texas progressed legislation, HB 3739/SB 1146, that would combine resources from the Department of Corrections and the University of Texas and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center to explore ways to increase opportunities and expand access to telehealth-delivered services in correctional facilities.
- Vermont progressed legislation, H 86/H 62, that would establish the Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact and the interstate Counseling Compact for professional counselors.
Why it matters:
- States continue to adopt interstate compacts. Well into the legislative session, states continue to introduce and progress legislation that would enact licensure compacts across healthcare professions. Just this week, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri and Vermont took steps to adopt compacts that will improve continuity of care when clients or professionals travel, create a shared licensure data system, and protect public integrity by allowing the rapid sharing of investigative and disciplinary information.
- Texas addresses inmate care via telehealth. The proposed legislation in Texas indicates the state’s desire to turn to telemedicine to provide healthcare services to individuals incarcerated in Texas prisons and jails. Proponents argue that increasing access to care for inmates via telemedicine reduces costs and improves outcomes.
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.