Florida Legislature Passes New Telehealth Law

The Florida State Legislature recently passed HB 23 on April 29, 2019. HB 23 outlines guidelines for practicing telehealth in the the state of Florida. According to Foley and Lardner, “the law cements the validity of telehealth services in Florida, establishes new telehealth practice standards, creates a registration process for out-of-state health care professionals to use telehealth to deliver health care services to Florida patients, and introduces less-than-ideal commercial reimbursement provisions.”

The new bill takes effect July 1st, 2019. Written by Thomas B. Ferrante and Nathaniel M. Lacktman of Foley and Lardner. You can read a summary of the key findings here:

Standard of Care. The new law makes it clear that a telehealth provider has the duty to practice in a manner consistent with his or her scope of practice.

Telehealth Exams. A telehealth provider may use telehealth to perform a patient evaluation.

Telemedicine Prescribing. A telehealth provider may only use telehealth to prescribe a controlled substance if the controlled substance is prescribed for: (1) the treatment of a psychiatric disorder; (2) inpatient treatment at a hospital; (3) the treatment of a patient receiving hospice services; or (4) the treatment of a nursing home resident.

Patient Medical Records. Telehealth providers must maintain a complete record of the patient’s care according to the same standard as used for in-person services and comply with applicable Florida law for confidentiality and disclosure of the patient’s medical record.

You can read the rest of the article here.