Florida Telehealth Highlights

The year 2019 saw significant telehealth changes in Florida. While there is room to grow the changes do show movement in the right direction.

Florida Statutes 456.47 – Use of telehealth to provide services.

This law expands the telehealth rules in Florida and allows out of state Providers to offer services if they meet certain conditions. Some of the highlights are:

A telehealth provider may use telehealth to perform a patient evaluation. If a telehealth provider conducts a patient evaluation sufficient to diagnose and treat the patient, the telehealth provider is not required to research a patient’s medical history or conduct a physical examination of the patient before using telehealth to provide health care services to the patient.

A telehealth provider may not use telehealth to prescribe a controlled substance unless the controlled substance is prescribed for the following:

1. The treatment of a psychiatric disorder;

2. Inpatient treatment at a hospital licensed under chapter 395;

3. The treatment of a patient receiving hospice services as defined in s. 400.601; or

4. The treatment of a resident of a nursing home facility as defined in s. 400.021.

A telehealth provider shall document in the patient’s medical record the health care services rendered using telehealth according to the same standard as used for in-person services. 

A health care professional not licensed in this state may provide health care services to a patient located in this state using telehealth if the health care professional registers with the applicable board, or the department if there is no board, and provides health care services within the applicable scope of practice established by Florida law or rule.

A health care professional who is not licensed to provide health care services in this state but who holds an active license to provide health care services in another state or jurisdiction, and who provides health care services using telehealth to a patient located in this state, is not subject to the registration requirement under this section if the services are provided:

(a) In response to an emergency medical condition as defined in s. 395.002; or

(b) In consultation with a health care professional licensed in this state who has ultimate authority over the diagnosis and care of the patient.