As telemedicine becomes an increasingly popular method for connecting patients with healthcare providers, many providers are becoming interested in expanding the reach of their telehealth practices across state lines. Although technological advancements have helped providers communicate with patients remotely, state and federal regulations add additional considerations for practicing across multiple states.
Generally, healthcare providers will provide telehealth services to patients located within their own state. Most states allow for telehealth services and will allow state-licensed providers to provide telehealth services within the state in which they are licensed. State licensure requirements become more complex when an out-of-state provider wishes to provide telehealth services to a patient located in another state.
Telehealth services are generally considered to be performed at the patient’s physical location, which usually means that the provider must be licensed in the patient’s home state. Although the COVID-19 pandemic caused several states to temporarily waive some licensing requirements for cross-state telehealth services, many of those waivers has since expired.
Currently, there is no nationwide standard for cross-state telehealth practices, so providers should take extra care to understand the licensing requirements in each state in which they plan to provide telehealth services. With some exceptions, Michigan law requires that all healthcare providers be licensed in the state if they wish to provide telehealth services to a patient located in Michigan. Other states that belong to multi-state licensing compacts may allow some providers licensed under such compacts to provide telehealth services after registering in their state. Some states impose additional barriers to cross-state telehealth, such as requiring providers and patients to establish their relationship in person before beginning telehealth services. Providers wishing to practice telehealth from outside of the United States face additional federal policies.
The recent growth of telehealth and its associated policy will continue to evolve in the upcoming years. Healthcare providers wishing to offer telehealth services must understand the applicable policies in each state in which they plan to provide telehealth services. A healthcare attorney can help providers navigate these nonuniform telehealth laws.
For over 35 years, Wachler & Associates has represented healthcare providers and suppliers nationwide in a variety of health law matters, and our attorneys can assist providers and suppliers in understanding the telehealth. If you or your healthcare entity has any questions pertaining to healthcare compliance, please contact an experienced healthcare attorney at 248-544-0888 or email@example.com.