Navigating Telehealth Regulations by State in 2024

Read about the latest telehealth laws in this guide by Healthie. Find out which states experienced changes in telehealth regulations this year.

In recent years, the landscape of healthcare has undergone a transformative shift with the widespread adoption of telehealth services; because of this, awareness of telehealth laws has become increasingly important. As technology continues to evolve, mental health professionals and healthcare practitioners are exploring new avenues to expand their private practices by offering telehealth services across state borders. However, navigating the complex web of telehealth laws and regulations by state can be challenging. In this guide, we will explore the latest information on telehealth laws by state over the past year, address common questions, and provide a step-by-step approach to help you expand your practice. With a thorough understanding of telehealth regulations, your practice will be more prepared to provide care for a wider audience in accordance with the associated laws.

Understanding telehealth laws and regulations is crucial for any practitioner looking to offer services across state borders. Telehealth laws vary from state to state, and are prone to change. When considering offering telehealth in a new state, it is important to not just research and familiarize yourself with the local state telehealth regulations to ensure compliance, but to stay abreast of ongoing developments. Websites dedicated to the evolution of telehealth in the US are making this easier than ever before, including the Center for Connected Health Policy and the Telehealth Resource Center.

Can You Do Telehealth Across State Lines?

The question of whether you can provide telehealth services across state lines is a common concern for practitioners seeking to expand their reach – naturally, this comes with an immediate need for better comprehension of telehealth laws by state. While some states have implemented reciprocity agreements allowing out-of-state practitioners to offer telehealth services, others may require additional licensing. It's crucial to investigate telehealth regulations by state to determine the specific requirements for each location where you intend to provide services.

What is the Federal Legislation for Telehealth?

Understanding federal legislation is fundamental in grasping the broader framework within which telehealth operates – and telehealth laws by state in 2024 will predictably continue to shift. The push for expanded telehealth services gained momentum with the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting the government to enact measures that facilitated remote healthcare delivery to break down barriers to care. For example, the federal government currently allows for payments to be made for telemedicine appointments via medicare, and also permits applicable practitioners to prescribe controlled substances via telemedicine. These examples of telehealth laws as well as other federal legislation can be tracked via this online resource created by the government. 

What is the CMS Proposed Rule for Telehealth in 2024?

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) play a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of telehealth regulations. Annually, a panel meets to review how telehealth is being delivered, and reviews proposals for change. This panel has a major impact on the healthcare industry because they set the reimbursement policies and guidelines for the approximately 160 million patients utilizing Medicare and Medicaid. The decisions of this panel are announced in November of each year, and any consequent changes in telehealth laws are then put into effect in January of the following year. To stay up to date on CMS Rulings for Telehealth, you can visit the agency’s dedicated website.

How Many States Have Telehealth Parity Laws?

Telehealth parity laws are designed to ensure that telehealth services receive the same treatment as in-person services. A growing number of states have enacted telehealth parity laws to promote equal access to healthcare for their residents. In addition to the aforementioned service parity laws, some states have also enacted payment parity laws for telehealth regulations. The payment parity law ensures that patients be reimbursed the same amount for a telehealth appointment as they would be for an in-person appointment. Like other regulations regarding telehealth, these laws are often updated. The CCHP has created a Summary Chart of the State Laws and Reimbursement Policies for Fall 2023 as well as a live page on their website.

Which States Have a Telehealth Commercial Insurance Coverage Law?

Telehealth laws by state in 2024 may see some changes in commercial insurance coverage. Commercial insurance coverage for telehealth services could have an impact on how popular your telehealth services would be in another state. Some states have specific laws mandating commercial insurance coverage for telehealth services, while others may leave it to the discretion of insurance providers. Depending on the laws in that state, patients might forego telehealth as their insurance provider might not be as generous in the cost-sharing of these services compared to in-person appointments. To review these laws by state, visit the Private Payer Requirements page of the CCHP website for the latest updates on the law per state. 

Navigating Telehealth with Healthie

Healthie is a comprehensive platform that can simplify the process of offering telehealth services across state borders – thereby helping keep your practice in line with the proper telehealth laws you’ll need to adhere to. Healthie’s all-in-one solution streamlines scheduling, billing, and patient communications - including secure video sessions. Healthie’s dedication to modern healthcare delivery ensures a seamless experience for both practitioners and clients. Additionally, Healthie's telehealth features are designed to comply with the latest telehealth laws, offering you peace of mind as you expand your practice.

Overall, offering telehealth services across state borders can be a rewarding endeavor for practitioners seeking to broaden their reach. By staying informed about the latest telehealth laws by state, understanding federal legislation, and leveraging platforms like Healthie, you can navigate the regulatory landscape with confidence. As telehealth continues to evolve, embracing these changes can open new possibilities for your private practice, ultimately benefiting both you and your clients.

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