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. 12 13 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 14 15 Section 1. Section 456.4501, Florida Statutes, is created 16 to read: 17 456.4501 Use 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.