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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.
Copyright © 2019 NASW Florida Chapter.