Florida Senate - 2015                              CS for SB 478
       By the Committee on Health Policy; and Senators Bean and Joyner
       588-01661-15                                           2015478c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to telehealth; creating s. 456.4501,
    3         F.S.; defining the terms “telehealth” and “telehealth
    4         provider”; providing certain practice standards for
    5         telehealth providers; authorizing telehealth providers
    6         to use telehealth to prescribe controlled substances,
    7         with an exception; prohibiting the use of telehealth
    8         or specified computer-controlled devices to prescribe
    9         optical devices; providing for the maintenance and
   10         confidentiality of medical records; providing an
   11         effective date.
   13  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   15         Section 1. Section 456.4501, Florida Statutes, is created
   16  to read:
   17         456.4501Use of telehealth to provide services.—
   18         (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   19         (a) “Telehealth” means the use of synchronous or
   20  asynchronous telecommunications technology by a telehealth
   21  provider to provide health care services, including, but not
   22  limited to, patient assessment, diagnosis, consultation,
   23  treatment, and monitoring; the transfer of medical data; patient
   24  and professional health-related education; public health
   25  services; and health care administration. The term does not
   26  include audio-only transmissions, e-mail messages, facsimile
   27  transmissions, or consultations between a telehealth provider in
   28  this state and a provider lawfully licensed in another state
   29  when the provider licensed in this state maintains
   30  responsibility for the care of a patient in this state.
   31         (b) “Telehealth provider” means a person who provides
   32  health care and related services using telehealth and who is
   33  licensed under chapter 457; chapter 458; chapter 459; chapter
   34  460; chapter 461; chapter 463; chapter 464; chapter 465; chapter
   35  466; chapter 467; part I, part III, part IV, part V, part X,
   36  part XIII, or part XIV of chapter 468; chapter 478; chapter 480;
   37  parts III and IV of chapter 483; chapter 484; chapter 486;
   38  chapter 490; or chapter 491, or who is certified under part III
   39  of chapter 401.
   40         (2) PRACTICE STANDARDS.—
   41         (a) The standard of care for a telehealth provider
   42  providing medical care to a patient is the same as the standard
   43  of care generally accepted for a health care professional
   44  providing in-person health care services to a patient. If a
   45  telehealth provider conducts a patient evaluation sufficient to
   46  diagnose and treat the patient, the telehealth provider is not
   47  required to research the patient’s medical history or conduct a
   48  physical examination of the patient before using telehealth to
   49  provide services to the patient. A telehealth provider may use
   50  telehealth to perform a patient evaluation.
   51         (b) A telehealth provider and a patient may be in separate
   52  locations when telehealth is used to provide health care
   53  services to the patient.
   54         (c) A nonphysician telehealth provider using telehealth and
   55  acting within the relevant scope of practice is not deemed to be
   56  practicing medicine without a license under any provision of law
   57  listed in paragraph (1)(b).
   58         (d) A telehealth provider who is otherwise authorized to
   59  prescribe a controlled substance named or described in Schedules
   60  I through V of s. 893.03 may use telehealth to prescribe the
   61  controlled substance, except that telehealth may not be used to
   62  prescribe a controlled substance to treat chronic nonmalignant
   63  pain as defined in s. 458.3265. This paragraph does not preclude
   64  a physician from using telehealth to order a controlled
   65  substance for an inpatient admitted to a facility licensed under
   66  chapter 395 or a hospice patient under chapter 400.
   67         (e) A telehealth provider may not use telehealth to
   68  prescribe lenses, spectacles, eyeglasses, contact lenses, or
   69  other optical devices or prescribe based solely on the
   70  refractive error of the human eye generated by a computer
   71  controlled device such as an autorefractor.
   72         (3) RECORDS.—A telehealth provider shall document in the
   73  patient’s medical record the health care services rendered using
   74  telehealth according to the same standard used for in-person
   75  health care services pursuant to ss. 395.3025(4) and 456.057.
   76         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.