Telemedicine allows Texas doctors to provide healthcare services to patients who are at a different physical location. This allows greater access to needed health care and a reduction in healthcare costs.
Texas Senate Bill SB 1107 on Telemedicine and Telehealth Services made statutory changes to the practice of telemedicine in Texas. The Bill includes implementation of amendments to the telemedicine Texas Medicaid medical benefit policy and requires submission of a State Plan Amendment to update the Physicians' and Dentists' Services Section of the Texas Medicaid State Plan. The upcoming 2018 changes come on the heels of the Texas Medicaid telemedicine benefit changes that became effective on June 1, 2017.
If you are a provider of Medicaid healthcare services, it is important that you monitor future provider notifications to stay informed of implementation dates for the upcoming changes. The target implementation date is late summer 2018.
Major Changes to the Texas Medicaid Telemedicine Benefits
Major benefit changes related to SB 1107 include the following:
- Updated delivery modalities acceptable for reimbursement.
- Updates patient and distant site guidelines, as specified by the Texas Medical Board.
- Updated patient site presenter requirements, as specified by the Texas Medical Board.
- Updated guidelines for valid prescriptions generated from a telemedicine visit, as specified by the Texas Medical Board, Texas Board of Nursing, Texas Physician Assistant Board, and the Texas State Board of Pharmacy.
- Updated guidelines concerning the practitioner-patient relationship required for a telemedicine visit.
Additionally, SB 1107 does not require that Medicaid managed care plans, or other health benefit plans, provide reimbursement for telemedicine healthcare when the healthcare service provided occurs only by synchronous or asynchronous audio interaction, including by audio-only telephone consultation, text-only email message, or by facsimile transmission.
Practicing Telemedicine in Texas
The benefits of providing telemedicine to patients are vast, though offering this service creates new risks for healthcare providers regarding licensing issues, proper billing, and standards of care. The medical care provided via telemedicine is held to the same standards of acceptable medical practices as those made in the traditional in-person clinical settings.
If you are a distant site provider of telemedicine or telehealth services in Texas, it is critical that you understand and follow the regulations. This is an area of medicine ripe with potential pitfalls for professionals licensed by the Texas Medical Board.
Facing Disciplinary Action from the Texas Medical Board
If you have been notified of a complaint filed against you or are facing disciplinary action by the Texas Medical Board based on medical care you provided via telemedicine, it is critical that you seek the advice of an experienced Medical license defense attorney immediately.
Our law firm helps professionals, like you, keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack by a state agency or board.
If you are facing disciplinary action from a professional licensing board, contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.
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