Florida Boards Adopt Standards for Telemedicine Practice

Florida's Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine each adopt a rule addressing Standards for Telemedicine Practice. (See 64B8-9.0141 for Board for Medicine and 64B15-14.0081 for Board of Osteopathic Medicine).

The Final Rule for each Board is effective on March 20, 2014.

For some background details, see our post from November 2013:
Telemedicine is Coming to Florida (Slowly but Surely).

Board of Medicine - Rule 64B8-9.0141 (Florida Administrative Code)

64B8-9.0141 Standards for Telemedicine Practice.
(1) "Telemedicine" means the practice of medicine by a licensed Florida physician or physician assistant where patient care, treatment, or services are provided through the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications. Telemedicine shall not include the provision of health care services only through an audio only telephone, email messages, text messages, facsimile transmission, U.S. Mail or other parcel service, or any combination thereof.
(2) The standard of care, as defined in Section 456.50(1)(e), F.S., shall remain the same regardless of whether a Florida licensed physician or physician assistant provides health care services in person or by telemedicine.

(3) Florida licensed physicians and physician assistants providing health care services by telemedicine are responsible for the quality of the equipment and technology employed and are responsible for their safe use. Telemedicine equipment and technology must be able to provide, at a minimum, the same information to the physician and physician assistant which will enable them to meet or exceed the prevailing standard of care for the practice of medicine. 

(4) Controlled substances shall not be prescribed through the use of telemedicine.

(5) The practice of medicine by telemedicine does not alter any obligation of the physician or the physician assistant regarding patient confidentiality or recordkeeping.

(6) A physician-patient relationship may be established through telemedicine.

(7)(a) Nothing contained in this rule shall prohibit consultations between physicians or the transmission and review of digital images, pathology specimens, test results, or other medical data by physicians or other qualified providers related to the care of Florida patients.

     (b) This rule does not apply to emergency medical services provided by emergency physicians, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics, and emergency dispatchers. Emergency medical services are those activities or services to prevent or treat a sudden critical illness or injury and to provide emergency medical care and prehospital emergency medical transportation to sick, injured, or otherwise incapacitated persons in this state.
   
   (c) The provisions of this rule shall not apply where a physician or physician assistant is treating a patient with an emergency medical condition that requires immediate medical care. An emergency medical condition is a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity that the absence of immediate medical attention will result in serious jeopardy to patient health, serious impairment to bodily functions, or serious dysfunction of a body organ or part.

Rulemaking Authority 458.331(1)(v) FS. Law Implemented 458.331(1)(v) FS. History?New 3-12-14.

Board of Osteopathic Medicine - Rule 64B15-14.0081 (Florida Administrative Code)

64B15-14.0081 Standards for Telemedicine Practice.
(1) "Telemedicine" means the practice of medicine by a licensed Florida physician or physician assistant where patient care, treatment, or services are provided through the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications. Telemedicine shall not include the provision of health care services only through an audio only telephone, email messages, text messages, facsimile transmission, U.S. Mail or other parcel service, or any combination thereof.

(2) The standard of care, as defined in Section 456.50(1)(e), F.S., shall remain the same regardless of whether a Florida licensed physician or physician assistant provides health care services in person or by telemedicine.

(3) Florida licensed physicians and physician assistants providing health care services by telemedicine are responsible for the quality of the equipment and technology employed and are responsible for their safe use. Telemedicine equipment and technology must be able to provide, at a minimum, the same information to the physician and physician assistant which will enable them to meet or exceed the prevailing standard of care for the practice of medicine.

(4) Controlled substances shall not be prescribed through the use of telemedicine.

(5) The practice of medicine by telemedicine does not alter any obligation of the physician or the physician assistant regarding patient confidentiality or recordkeeping.

(6) A physician-patient relationship may be established through telemedicine.

(7)(a) Nothing contained in this rule shall prohibit consultations between physicians or the transmission and review of digital images, pathology specimens, test results, or other medical data by physicians or other qualified providers related to the care of Florida patients.

(b) This rule does not apply to emergency medical services provided by emergency physicians, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics, and emergency dispatchers. Emergency medical services are those activities or services to prevent or treat a sudden critical illness or injury and to provide emergency medical care and prehospital emergency medical transportation to sick, injured, or otherwise incapacitated persons in this state.

(c) The provisions of this rule shall not apply where a physician or physician assistant is treating a patient with an emergency medical condition that requires immediate medical care. An emergency medical condition is a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity that the absence of immediate medical attention will result in serious jeopardy to patient health, serious impairment to bodily functions, or serious dysfunction of a body organ or part.

Rulemaking Authority 459.015(1)(z) FS. Law Implemented 459.015(1)(z) FS. History?New 3-12-14.



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