The push for telemedicine in Florida continues. The bill to create the Telemedicine Act, SB 1646, is in appropriations as of April 11, 2014.

The bill would permit and thereby expand the provision of healthcare services in Florida using telemedicine. According to the bill summary, the bill also:
  • creates s. s. 456.4503, F.S.;
  • requiring specified practitioners providing telemedicine services to patients in this state to be licensed in this state;
  • providing certain exceptions for emergency services and consultations; authorizing non-Florida licensed physicians to meet alternative requirements;
  • requiring pertinent records to be made available upon request;
  • requiring other health care providers to be supervised by a telemedicine provider;
  • providing continuing education requirements for telemedicine providers;
  • establishing venue; providing applicability;
  • authorizing the licensing boards to adopt rules;
  • creates s. 456.4504, F.S.;
  • providing standards and prohibitions for the provision of telemedicine services;
  • prohibiting nonemergency prescribing of a legend drug without a physical examination;
  • prohibiting the prescription of a controlled substance for chronic nonmalignant pain using telemedicine;
  • creates s. 456.4505, F.S.;
  • authorizing the use of telemedicine services in the diagnosis and treatment of the human eye;
  • providing requirements for the use of automated equipment;
  • requiring the owner or lessee of the automated equipment to maintain specified liability insurance under certain circumstances;
  • prohibiting prescriptions for spectacles or contact lens based solely on the use of an autorefractor;
  • creates s. 456.4506, F.S.;
  • providing requirements for reimbursement of telemedicine services under the Medicaid program;
  • requiring a report to the Legislature on the usage and costs of telemedicine in Medicaid by a certain date;
  • providing for future repeal;
  • amends s. 409.967, F.S.;
  • prohibiting a managed care plan under Medicaid from using telemedicine providers that are not physicians;
  • amends ss. 627.645 and 641.185, F.S.;
  • prohibiting the denial of a claim for payment for medical services based on a medical necessity determination conducted via telemedicine unless the determination is made by a physician;
  • providing an effective date.

The full text of the bill is available here -

Posted by Tatiana Melnik April 21, 2014.