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:

  • Maternal Health
  • Licensure/Prescription Flexibilities
  • Interstate Compacts

A CLOSER LOOK

Finalized Legislation & Rulemaking
Highlights:

  • Georgia enacted SB 106 also known as the Healthy Babies Act. The legislation, sponsored by Senate Majority Caucus Senator Larry Walker III, creates a three-year pilot program for remote maternal health services via the Georgia Department of Community Health. Beginning in FY 2024, the program will provide remote monitoring for pregnant women under the state’s Medicaid program. State legislators prioritized this bill in an effort to increase benefits for at-risk mothers in underserved rural communities. The program’s expanded benefits aim to encourage expecting mothers to utilize prenatal care.
  • Montana enacted legislation, SB 112, creating a new section related to a pharmacist’s prescribing authority exception. The exception states that a pharmacist may prescribe a drug or device for a legitimate medical purpose, as allowed under this section, for a person with whom the pharmacist has a patient-prescriber relationship. Supporters of the bill cited access-to-care hurdles for rural communities that could otherwise be overcome by allowing pharmacists to serve as a point of first contact. The bill, modeled after similar legislation passed in Idaho, will allow patients to be treated for certain minor conditions without having to visit a doctor’s office. Montana also enacted legislation (SB 214) to enact the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Compact and Occupational Therapy Compact (SB 155).
  • Oklahoma enacted legislation, SB 754, authorizing licensed dentists to allow teledentistry treatment by certain dental hygienists for patients in certain long-term care settings.

Legislation Rulemaking Activity in Proposal Phase
Highlights:

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