Florida Senate - 2015                                     SB 478
       By Senators Bean and Joyner
       4-00604-15                                             2015478__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to telemedicine services; creating s.
    3         456.4501, F.S.; defining the term “telemedicine
    4         services”; authorizing an emergency medical
    5         technician, a paramedic, or a health care practitioner
    6         to provide telemedicine services through the use of
    7         certain telecommunications technology to a patient who
    8         is a resident of this state; requiring telemedicine
    9         services to be covered by specified Medicaid programs
   10         in the same manner as services provided to a recipient
   11         in person; prohibiting the prescription of controlled
   12         substances for certain chronic nonmalignant pain
   13         through the use of telemedicine services; authorizing
   14         the Department of Health and any applicable regulatory
   15         board to adopt rules to administer the section;
   16         specifying that such rules may not prohibit the use of
   17         telemedicine services; prohibiting the regulation of
   18         telemedicine services from being construed to restrict
   19         the delivery of certain emergency medical services;
   20         providing an effective date.
   22  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   24         Section 1. Section 456.4501, Florida Statutes, is created
   25  to read:
   26         456.4501 Use of telemedicine services.—
   27         (1) As used in this section, the term “telemedicine
   28  services” means the use of synchronous or asynchronous
   29  telecommunications technology to perform services that include,
   30  but are not limited to, patient assessment, diagnosis,
   31  consultation, treatment, and monitoring, the transfer of medical
   32  data, and the provision of patient and professional health
   33  related education. The term does not include audio-only
   34  transmissions, e-mail messages, or facsimile transmissions.
   35         (2) An emergency medical technician or a paramedic
   36  certified pursuant to s. 401.27 or a health care practitioner
   37  may provide telemedicine services to a patient who is a resident
   38  of this state. Such services shall be covered by Medicaid under
   39  parts III and IV of chapter 409 in the same manner as services
   40  that are provided to a recipient in person.
   41         (3) A controlled substance as defined in s. 893.02 may not
   42  be prescribed for chronic nonmalignant pain as defined in s.
   43  456.44 through the use of telemedicine services.
   44         (4) Rules to administer this section may be adopted by the
   45  department for emergency medical technicians and paramedics
   46  certified pursuant to s. 401.27 and health care practitioners
   47  who are not subject to regulation by a board, and by any
   48  applicable health care practitioner board. Such rules may not
   49  prohibit the use of telemedicine services.
   50         (5) This section may not be construed to restrict the
   51  delivery of emergency medical services as defined in s. 401.107.
   52         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.