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Trending in Telehealth: August 8 – 14, 2023
Thursday, August 17, 2023

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:

  • Expansion of Telehealth Services
  • Jurisdictional Clarifications for Providers

A CLOSER LOOK

Finalized Legislation and Rulemaking

  • Maryland amended the requirements for participation in the state’s medical assistance program for advanced practice registered nurses to explicitly require compliance with the state’s telehealth rule in COMAR 10.09.49.
  • Oregon has finalized a rule related to the licensing of optometrists in either a public health emergency or state emergency, incorporating telehealth licenses into the relevant provisions.
  • Wisconsin adopted regulations that would expand reimbursement under the state’s medical assistance program for certain services provided via telehealth. This rule, which focuses on mobile crisis units, is a result of a directive by the Wisconsin legislature to determine which services provided via telehealth should be reimbursed under the medical assistance program. This was only a partial adoption of rules proposed earlier this year.

Legislation and Rulemaking Activity in Proposal Phase

Highlights:

  • Illinois has proposed a rule (page 234) that expands and clarifies the definition of telemedicine in the context of hospital licensing to include provider-to-provider consultations with physicians licensed in the United States.
  • Illinois has also signed into law its enrollment into the Counseling Compact through an amendment to the Professional Counselor and Clinical Professional Counselor Licensing and Practice Act. Illinois joins more than 30 other states that are part of this intrastate compact.
  • Massachusetts has proposed regulations related to the provision of doula services, which includes defining the standard of care in terms of telehealth.
  • West Virginia has proposed regulations (page 20) for best practices related to the provision of sexual assault care. This includes providing the initial evaluation via a telehealth service called teleSANE, which would require additional training for relevant providers.

Why it matters:

  • States are expanding services that can be provided via telehealth. States continue to identify new service areas in which telehealth can be utilized. Examples include the newly proposed bills related to sexual assault examinations in West Virginia and doula services in Massachusetts. As telehealth has become more common, states have expanded opportunities for telehealth services into more specialized fields.
  • Jurisdictional questions are being more clearly defined in state regulations. Some states have recently provided clarification for providers who are not physically present in the state, clearing up questions regarding what it means to be practicing within a state. For example, although only applicable in an emergency, the Oregon optometry licensing change specifically addresses physical location. Additionally, Illinois’s enrollment in the Counseling Compact expands and standardizes out-of-state practice for certain provider types.
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