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9 states with telehealth legislation taking effect in 2018

December 27, 2017 | Erin Dietsche | MedCity News

The Center for Connected Health Policy has unveiled a list of telehealth legislation approved in 2017.

The roundup includes various policies that took effect this past year, as well as one Hawaii policy that’s effective for the plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2019.

But 11 pieces of legislation in nine states will officially take effect in 2018. Here they are:

Arkansas: A policy in the state gives a new definition of telemedicine and includes requirements for establishing a “professional relationship” via telemedicine. Additionally, it contains requirements for when a healthcare worker provides telehealth services to a minor in a school setting and the minor is in the state’s Medicaid program.

California: Two bills (AB 205 and SB 171) let Medi-Cal managed care plans request other access standards if they’ve exhausted all the other options to obtain providers to meet certain standards. They also classify telehealth visits as a means of alternative access standards.

Additionally, California took a closer look at telepharmacies. The state has set up requirements for registered pharmacy technicians who work at a remote dispensing site pharmacy.

Colorado: Bill SB 2017 develops a behavioral health crisis response system and crisis service facilities walk-in centers mobile response units. It also outlines what role telehealth can play in these areas.

Illinois: A new policy specifies that the Department can’t require a physician or healthcare professional to be physically present in the same room as the patient for the whole time that the patient is getting telepsychiatry services.

Another piece of legislation establishes standards for providers using telehealth in Illinois. The requirements include the need for providers to be licensed and use the same standard of care used for in-person visits.

Montana: Beginning in 2018, Montana will require insurance to cover teledentistry.

Oregon: Oregon is making changes in the dentistry realm as well. Next year, it will allow dental care providers to utilize telehealth if they believe it’s appropriate and within their scope. The Oregon Board of Dentistry will be required to treat telehealth services the same way it treats in-person services.

Tennessee: Bill HB 664 enacts the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.

Read the rest of the article in MedCity News.