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Trending in Telehealth: June 27 – July 10, 2023
Wednesday, July 19, 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:

  • States continue to progress and pass legislation expanding and defining the use of telehealth and telemedicine for mental health and substance-use disorder treatment. Some of this legislation is specific to children’s mental health, reflecting increasing concerns regarding youth mental health and shortages of mental health services and practitioners.

  • There continues to be elevated activity surrounding licensure compacts. This year has seen an uptick in legislative activity by states seeking to ease out-of-state licensure barriers through the use of interstate compacts. This week, Missouri adopted three compacts and Ohio progressed a bill to enter the Social Work Licensure Compact.

  • States continue to progress and pass legislation establishing telehealth pilot programs across multiple departments. As noted in past posts, pilot programs are important steps to determine the best uses of telehealth and increase access to healthcare in vulnerable populations.

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