It seems like the question, “Can I provide a telemedicine visit to my patient if they are in a different state or if I am in a different state?” is popping up a lot.
So far, I have counted three considerations when looking for an answer…
- What are the payers saying?
- What is your malpractice insurance carrier saying?
- What are the relevant state licensing board saying?
Initially, only the first question occurred to me, and I am grateful for all the smart people out there who have been raising all the variables to consider.
Paulie and Chip already posted some great links on the forum to access answers to what the payers are doing (answer: something different for each one!) and what the state licensing boards are doing (https://www.cchpca.org/resources/covid-19-related-state-actions).
I checked The Doctors Company since that is the company my practice holds insurance coverage through and they address this question on their website (https://www.thedoctors.com/articles/covid-19-telehealth-resource-center/).
You hit all three areas. Currently during the pandemic, you do not need to be licensed where your patient is in 49 states. You can see from this link (https://www.fsmb.org/siteassets/advocacy/pdf/states-waiving-licensure-requirements-for-telehealth-in-response-to-covid-19.pdf) that 49 states and most US territories are waiving this requirement currently. This document was last updated 5/5.
Even before the pandemic, we had in writing, from our malpractice company, that we could provide this for patients out of state at the time of their visit, if we had an established relationship with the patient. This is how we did ADHD checks with our college patients or illness visits for vacationing families. I’m not sure how the payers would know where the patient is, if it is your own patient and you are seeing them and billing for the TM service, unless the payer requests the visit notes for some other reason.
@ssirota, Thank you!
Yes, even before COVID-19, those exact scenarios would come up… the vacationing family or the college student checking mid-semester.