Telehealth Program
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Trending in Telehealth: June 27 – July 10, 2023

Trending in Telehealth is a new series from the McDermott digital health team in which we highlight 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 two weeks:

  • Telehealth pilot programs, with a focus on home health
  • Licensure compacts


Finalized Legislation and Rulemaking

  • Connecticut enacted SB 1705, which requires the Department of Public Health to establish a Hospice Hospital at Home pilot program to provide hospice care through a combination of in-person visits and telehealth.
  • Delaware adopted rules for home health agencies and personal assistance services agencies that define “telehealth mechanism” and address services provided via telehealth mechanisms.
  • Illinois enacted SB 1913, which requires the Department of Healthcare and Family Services and contracted managed care plans to provide for coverage of mental health and substance-use disorder treatment or services delivered as behavioral telehealth services, and reimburse such services on the same basis, in the same manner, and at the same reimbursement rate as in-person services are reimbursed.
  • Maine enacted LD 231, which establishes a statewide child psychiatry telehealth consultation service, to the extent funding allows. The service will support primary care physicians who are treating children and adolescent patients and need assistance with diagnosis, care coordination, medication management and any other behavioral health questions.
  • New Mexico finalized rules that define “telemedicine” for respiratory therapists.
  • Missouri enacted SB 70, which enters the state into the Counseling Interstate Compact, Interstate Medical Licensure Compact and Social Work Licensure Compact.
  • Oklahoma enacted HB 2686, which specifies telehealth encounters cannot be used to establish a valid physician-patient relationship for the purpose of prescribing opiates, synthetic opiates, semisynthetic opiates, benzodiazepine or carisoprodol, unless the encounter is used to prescribe opioid antagonists or partial antagonists under certain circumstances, or Schedule III-V controlled substances for medication-assisted treatment or detoxification treatment for substance-use disorder.

Legislation and Rulemaking Activity in Proposal Phase


  • Kentucky proposed a rule that would significantly update telehealth requirements for optometrists, including revising applicable definitions, informed consent requirements, practice standards and jurisdictional considerations (i.e., where a patient or physician may be located).
  • New Jersey passed S 3604 in the first chamber. The bill would incorporate the use of healthcare platforms (defined as “as an Internet-based service through which a consumer, who may or may not have separate health insurance coverage, may set-up an account or become a member to obtain discounts on prescription or non-prescription drugs or devices and through which other services, including telemedicine, may be provided”) into the laws governing pharmacy benefits managers, pharmacists and telehealth.
  • Ohio passed SB90 in the first chamber to enter the state into the Social Worker Licensure Compact.

Why it matters:

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Trending in Telehealth: June 13 – 21, 2023

Trending in Telehealth is a new series from the McDermott digital health team in which we highlight 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
  • Mental health


Finalized Legislation & Rulemaking

  • Connecticut enacted HB 6768, which permits physicians, advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants to certify a qualifying patient’s use of medical marijuana and provide follow-up care using telehealth if they comply with other statutory certification and recordkeeping requirements.
  • Florida enacted HB 5101, which requires each school district to implement a school-based mental health assistance program that provides behavioral health services in-person and supplemented by telehealth.
  • Florida enacted SB 2500, which provides additional funding for telehealth services under the Minority Maternity Care program.
  • Illinois enacted SB 1298, amending the Home and Community-Based Services Waiver Program for Adults with Developmental Disabilities to permit medical and emergency telehealth services for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Louisiana enacted SB 186, adopting the Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact.
  • Louisiana enacted SB 66, which amends the state insurance code by replacing the term “telemedicine” with “telehealth,” for consistency throughout the code. The amendment does not require a provider to have an in-person examination with the patient prior to using telehealth but does require that a referral be made to an in-state healthcare provider or in-state follow-up care be arranged if necessary. The amendment also permits the use of interactive audio without video if, after access and review of the patient’s medical records, the healthcare provider determines that the provider is able to meet the same standard of care as if the services were provided in-person.
  • Louisiana enacted HB 41, which requires health plans to provide equivalent coverage and payments for telehealth occupational therapy services as for in-person services, unless the plan and the provider agree otherwise.
  • Louisiana enacted HB 181, which allows coroners to use telehealth when conducting an examination for an emergency mental health commitment.
  • Texas enacted HB 2727, which amends the requirements for the home telemonitoring program under Medicaid, including reimbursement requirements.
  • Texas enacted HB 617, which establishes a pilot project to provide emergency medical services instruction and emergency prehospital care instruction through a telemedicine medical service or telehealth service provided by regional trauma resource centers to healthcare providers in rural trauma facilities and emergency medical services providers in rural areas.
  • Texas enacted SB 1146, increasing access to telehealth services for inmates. The law requires the Department of Criminal Justice, in conjunction with The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, to establish procedures to expand access to telemedicine medical services, telehealth services and onsite medical care [...]

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$200 Million of Funding for COVID-19 Telehealth Program

On April 2, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) launched the $200 million Coronavirus (COVID-19) Telehealth Program contemplated in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Telehealth Program is distinguishable from the broader Connected Care Pilot Program, which will make an additional $100 million in federal universal service funds available for telehealth over the next three years.

Telehealth Program

Notwithstanding telehealth’s advantages, most low-income Americans are unable to utilize telehealth services due to their lack of consistent, broadband internet connection. Furthermore, some providers are limited in their ability to treat patients via telehealth due to the substantial financial and IT investment in developing connected care programs (e.g., purchase of remote patient monitoring devices, telehealth software platforms). The purpose of the Telehealth Program is to support healthcare providers in urban and rural areas, that are responding to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic by maximizing their provision of connected care services and devices. The Telehealth Program will help eligible healthcare providers purchase telecommunications services, information services and devices necessary to provide critical connected care services.

For purposes of the Telehealth Program and Connected Care Pilot Program, “connected care services” are defined as a subset of telehealth that uses broadband internet access service-enabled technologies to deliver care to patients at their mobile location or residence. Only internet-connected devices are covered, not unconnected devices that require the patient to communicate the results to their provider.

Funding will be awarded on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted or the coronavirus pandemic ends. To maximize the $200 million, the FCC anticipates limiting each applicant to $1 million in funding. Further, the FCC has indicated an interest in prioritizing funding to areas especially hard-hit by the coronavirus.

Eligible Healthcare Providers


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