State Laws May Restrict Telemedicine Services
State Laws May Restrict Your Ability To Provide Telemedicine Services For Your Patients
“When the phone don’t ring it will be me.” - George Jones
Telemedicine is all the rave! We see advertisements for telemedicine in the newspaper, on television, and on social media. Practices and physicians are utilizing telemedicine more and more in order to provide care to their patients remotely. What should you do when your patient has moved away to a different state? Can you legally practice telemedicine across state lines?
In most cases, if a patient moves to a different state where the treating physician is not licensed, the physician cannot provide telemedicine to that patient unless that state has waived the licensure requirements. Telemedicine services must be provided by a health care professional who is licensed, registered, or otherwise authorized to engage in his or her health care profession in the state where the patient is located at the time the service is provided. The key factor in determining whether the physician may provide telemedicine services is the location of the patient. If the patient moved to a different state (even temporarily), the physician providing the telemedicine service must ensure he or she is complying with the laws of that state. While some states waived the licensure requirements and permit out-of-state physicians to provide telemedicine services during the COVID-19 state of emergency, other states have not waived these licensure requirements. As a result, practices and physicians must take the appropriate steps to ensure they are compliant with the laws of the state where the patient is located.
If you are providing or plan to provide telemedicine services to your patients, we recommend you provide early notice to your patients about potential limitations with telemedicine. Notice can be included on a consent for treatment form, posted in the office or on a separate written notice. Language could include: “Please be advised that our ability to provide telemedicine services may be limited by state laws. If you are in need or think you will need telemedicine services, please bring that to the attention of your provider.”
If telemedicine cannot be provided based on state laws, physicians should consider the legal risk of “patient abandonment” and take steps to ensure continuity of care.
For further information, please Contact Us.
Articles distributed by Malecki & Brooks Law Group, LLC are advertisements and summaries for general information and discussion purposes only. They are not full analyses of the matters presented, legal, or otherwise, and may not be relied upon as legal advice.
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