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In 2019, Florida passed the Telehealth Bill which establishes standards of practice for telehealth services, including patient evaluations, record-keeping, and controlled substances prescribing. The bill also authorizes out-of-state health care practitioners to perform telehealth services for patients in Florida upon meeting certain eligibility requirements and registering with the department.
The Florida Department of Health has created a website that allows interested parties to sign up for updates and register to become an out-of-state telehealth provider. More information, please visit: flhealthsource.gov/telehealth
Standards of Practice
Telehealth providers must practice in a manner consistent with his or her scope of practice and the prevailing professional standard of practice for a health care professional who provides in-person health care services to patients in Florida. The applicable board, or department if there is no board, may adopt rules related to telehealth that further clarify practice standards.
If a telehealth provider conducts a patient evaluation sufficient to diagnose and treat the patient, the telehealth provider is not required to research a patient’s medical history or conduct a physical examination before using telehealth to provide health care services.
Patient Medical Records
Telehealth providers must use the same standard of maintaining patient medical records as used for in-person services. They must also keep medical records confidential, as required in ss. 395.3025(4), F.S.
Controlled Substances Prescribing
A telehealth provider may only use telehealth to prescribe a controlled substance for the following:
Out-of-State Telehealth Provider Registration Requirements
Health care practitioners with an out-of-state license or certification that falls under section 456.47(1)(b), F.S, qualify for an out-of-state telehealth provider registration number when they meet the following requirements:
What is telehealth?
Telehealth is the use of synchronous or asynchronous telecommunications technology by a telehealth provider to provide health care services, including, but not limited to, the assessment, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, and monitoring of a patient; transfer of medical data; patient and professional health-related education; public health services; and health administration. Telehealth does not include audio-only telephone calls, e-mail messages, or fax transmissions.
What is a telehealth provider?
Telehealth provider is defined as an individual who provides a health care service using telehealth and who is licensed under s. 393.17; part III of chapter 401; chapter 457; chapter 458; chapter 459; chapter 460; chapter 461; chapter 463; chapter 464; chapter 465; chapter 466; chapter 467; part I, part III, part IV, part V, part X, part XIII, or part XIV of chapter 468; chapter 478; chapter 480; part II or part III of chapter 483; chapter 484; chapter 486; chapter 490; or chapter 491; who is licensed under a multi-state health care licensure compact of which Florida is a member state; or who is registered under and complies with s. 456.47(4), Florida Statutes.
What information about out-of-state telehealth providers is published by the Florida Department of Health?
The Florida Department of Health is required to maintain a public list of all registered out-of-state telehealth providers, which includes the following information:
Are there any exemptions from registering as an out-of-state telehealth provider?
There are two exemptions that allow an out-of-state licensee to perform telehealth for Florida patients without registering:
Can Florida health care practitioners register as an out-of-state telehealth provider?
Telehealth provider registration only applies to health care practitioners who are licensed in another state, the District of Columbia, or a possession or territory of the United States. Florida licensees can already provide telehealth services to patients in Florida that they can treat in person. If a Florida licensee would like to provide telehealth services to a patient outside of Florida, they must review the laws and rules in the location of the patient.
NASW-FL has a monthly electronic newsletter sent to all current FL Chapter members..
The electronic newsletter keeps you informed of current events and issues, upcoming local Unit and continuing education events, along with ways to become more involved. We hope you enjoy receiving these monthly updates directly to your e-mail inbox,
To view the latest e-newsletter, please click on the link.
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Copyright © 2019 NASW Florida Chapter.