Florida Senate - 2016                                    SB 1686
       By Senator Bean
       4-00356C-16                                           20161686__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to telehealth; creating s. 408.61,
    3         F.S.; creating the Telehealth Task Force within the
    4         Agency for Health Care Administration; requiring the
    5         agency to use existing and available resources to
    6         administer and support the task force; providing for
    7         the membership of the task force; requiring the task
    8         force to compile and analyze certain data and to
    9         conduct a comparative analysis of health insurance
   10         coverage available for telehealth services and for in
   11         person treatment; providing meeting requirements;
   12         requiring the task force to submit a report to the
   13         Governor and Legislature by a certain date; providing
   14         for the repeal of the section; creating s. 456.51,
   15         F.S.; authorizing certain licensed or certified health
   16         care professionals to provide telehealth services;
   17         defining the term “telehealth”; providing an effective
   18         date.
   20  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   22         Section 1. Section 408.61, Florida Statutes, is created to
   23  read:
   24         408.61 Telehealth Task Force.—
   25         (1) The Telehealth Task Force is created within the agency.
   26  The agency shall use existing and available resources to
   27  administer and support the activities of the task force under
   28  this section.
   29         (2) Members of the task force shall serve without
   30  compensation and are not entitled to reimbursement for per diem
   31  or travel expenses. The task force shall consist of the
   32  following 19 members:
   33         (a) The Secretary of Health Care Administration or his or
   34  her designee, who shall serve as the chair of the task force.
   35         (b) The State Surgeon General or his or her designee.
   36         (c) Three representatives of hospitals or facilities
   37  licensed under chapter 395, three representatives of health
   38  insurers that offer coverage of telehealth services, two
   39  representatives of organizations that represent health care
   40  facilities, and two representatives of entities that create or
   41  sell telehealth products, all appointed by the Secretary of
   42  Health Care Administration.
   43         (d) Five health care practitioners, each of whom practices
   44  in a different area of medicine, and two representatives of
   45  organizations that represent health care practitioners, all
   46  appointed by the State Surgeon General.
   47         (3) The task force shall compile and analyze data and
   48  information on the following:
   49         (a) The frequency and extent of the use of telehealth
   50  technology and equipment by health care practitioners and health
   51  care facilities nationally and in this state.
   52         (b) The costs and cost savings associated with using
   53  telehealth technology and equipment.
   54         (c) The types of telehealth services available.
   55         (d) The extent of available health insurance coverage for
   56  telehealth services. The task force shall conduct a comparative
   57  analysis of such coverage to available coverage for in-person
   58  services. The analysis must include:
   59         1. Covered medical or other health care services.
   60         2. A description of payment rates for such telehealth
   61  services and whether they are below, equal to, or above payment
   62  rates for in-person services.
   63         3. Annual and lifetime dollar maximums on coverage for
   64  telehealth and in-person services.
   65         4. Copayment, coinsurance, and deductible amounts; policy
   66  year, calendar year, lifetime, or other durational benefit
   67  limitations; and maximum benefits for telehealth and in-person
   68  services.
   69         5. Any unique conditions imposed as a prerequisite to
   70  obtaining coverage for telehealth services.
   71         (e) Barriers to implementing the use of, using, or
   72  accessing telehealth services.
   73         (4) The task force shall convene its first meeting by
   74  September 1, 2016, and shall meet as often as necessary to
   75  fulfill its responsibilities under this section. Meetings may be
   76  conducted in person, by teleconference, or by other electronic
   77  means.
   78         (5) The task force shall submit a report by June 30, 2017,
   79  to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of
   80  the House of Representatives which includes its findings,
   81  conclusions, and recommendations.
   82         (6) This section is repealed effective December 1, 2017.
   83         Section 2. Section 456.51, Florida Statutes, is created to
   84  read:
   85         456.51 Telehealth.—
   86         (1) A health care practitioner, a person certified under
   87  part III of chapter 401, or a person certified under part IV of
   88  chapter 468 who is practicing within the scope of his or her
   89  license or certification may provide telehealth services. A
   90  practitioner or person who is not a physician, but who provides
   91  telehealth services within the scope of his or her license or
   92  certification, may not be considered to be practicing medicine
   93  without a license.
   94         (2) As used in this section, the term “telehealth” means
   95  the use of synchronous or asynchronous telecommunications
   96  technology by a health care practitioner, a person certified
   97  under part III of chapter 401, or a person certified under part
   98  IV of chapter 468 to provide medical or other health care
   99  services, including, but not limited to, patient assessment,
  100  diagnosis, consultation, treatment, or remote monitoring; the
  101  transfer of medical or health data; patient and professional
  102  health-related education; the delivery of public health
  103  services; and health care administration functions.
  104         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.