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Trending in Telehealth: June 11 – 17, 2024
Friday, June 21, 2024

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:

  • Interstate compacts
  • Professional standards

A CLOSER LOOK

Finalized Legislation & Rulemaking:

  • In Florida, the governor signed H 7021, which revises substance abuse and mental health laws. This change allows for an individual to receive treatment via telehealth when a law enforcement officer determines involuntary examination is warranted.
  • Colorado enacted SB 24-141, which allows healthcare regulating bodies to create a telehealth registration process for out-of-state providers. A regulator must create the registration process, but an applicant is eligible for registration if the applicant (i) possesses an unencumbered out-of-state credential issued by another state that has educational and supervisory standards equivalent or exceeding Colorado’s standards or maintains the interstate compact license, (ii) has an agent of service in Colorado, (iii) has not been subject to disciplinary action in the last 5 years, and (iv) passes a jurisprudence examination.

Legislation & Rulemaking Activity in Proposal Phase:

Highlights:

  • Rhode Island had a very active week passing compact-related bills. If signed by the Governor, Rhode Island will be enrolled in the:
    • Social Work Licensure Compact (SB 2184)
    • Counseling Compact (SB 2183)
    • Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact (SB 2173)
    • Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact (SB 2623)
  • The Ohio Senate also passed SB 28 that would enroll the state in the PA Licensure Compact.
  • Arizona bill SB 1036 would enact the Social Work Compact; it heads to the Governor’s desk.
  • Arizona also passed SB 1267 in both houses that would revise supervision requirements for physical therapy assistants, allowing for supervision via telehealth.
  • The Delaware Senate passed SB 301, which would require public universities to provide access to medication to terminate pregnancy and emergency contraception, including requirements for accommodating a student’s request for a telehealth appointment if the student health center is not equipped or staffed to provide the medication.

Why it matters:

  • Interstate compacts continue to grow. Although this week was relatively slow for telehealth-related legislation and rulemaking, interstate compact enrollments were the exception. States continue to pass compact-related legislation, with Rhode Island leading the charge this week with four bills passing both houses. Additionally, as we saw last week, states are also amending statutes and rules to accommodate compact providers. We see this in Colorado’s new telehealth registration under SB 24-141, the final version of which was amended from the original bill text to include compact providers.
  • Telehealth is playing a key role in program guidance. States continue to amend the rules and statutes related to various healthcare programs to account for the usage of telehealth. Ohio’s recently passed rule for homemaker services explicitly speaks to the difference in documentation required for telehealth or virtual visits. Delaware’s pending bill SB 301 also leverages telehealth when a certain service cannot be accommodated by a particular health provider, which would expand access to certain specialty care, in this case medical abortion at public universities. As states engage with telehealth-based solutions, we’re seeing a shift to the technology being front of mind when drafting new healthcare programs, instead of amending rules to catch-up.
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