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California Telehealth Regulations and Laws

Telehealth Regulations in California

Most states have regulatory provisions governing the provision of telemedicine services . This article provides clarity on California’s laws and regulations regarding key requirements for providing telehealth services including: standard of care, online prescribing, establishing the practitioner-patient relationship, informed consent, patient identification requirements, and requirements for medical records. This article also provides information on cross-state licensing and payment parity laws.

If you are looking for more information related to California’s laws and rules on telehealth, you can review items such as the state medical board’s regulations, applicable health insurance codes (for reimbursement, payer information, etc.), and Medicaid laws.

What is Standard of Care for Telehealth in California?

Healthcare providers are held to the same standard of care and retain the same responsibilities of providing informed consent, ensuring the privacy of medical information, and any other duties associated with practicing medicine regardless of whether they are practicing via telehealth or in person.

What is Practitioner-Patient Relationship for Telehealth in California?

There is no California law or regulation specific to practitioner-patient relationships via telehealth, but healthcare providers are held to the same standard of care and retain the same responsibilities and any other duties associated with practicing medicine regardless of whether they are practicing via telehealth or during an in person visit.

Are There Online Prescription Restrictions for Telehealth in California?

California does not have any laws or regulations specific to prescribing non controlled substances via telehealth. However, in most cases, providers working through telecommunication have limitations on prescribing, dispensing, or furnishing dangerous drugs or devices without an appropriate prior examination.

What is Informed Patient Consent for Telehealth in California?

Before the delivery of healthcare via telehealth, the healthcare provider shall inform the patient about the use of telehealth and obtain verbal or written consent from the patient for the use of telehealth as an acceptable mode of delivering healthcare services.

What are Patient Identification Regulations for Telehealth in California?

There is no state law specifying any particular requirements for how a provider should verify patient identification before treating a patient via telehealth in California.

What are Medical Records Regulations for Telehealth in California?

The prescriber has created and maintained records of the patient's condition in accordance with medically accepted standards.

What are Cross-State Medicine Licensing Regulations for Telehealth in California?

California is not part of the Nurse Licensure Compact. The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) allows nurses to practice in other NLC states, beyond state lines, without having to obtain additional licenses.

What are Payment Parity Laws for Telehealth in California?

California has payment parity laws for telehealth services, which means that patients will pay the same rate they do for specific types of services from their telehealth provider that they do for in-person services.

What Types of Providers Are Allowed to Offer Telehealth Services in California?

In California, the health care professionals allowed to offer medical services via telehealth include:

  • Physicians

  • Physician assistants

  • Mental health professionals

  • Nurse practitioners

  • Physical therapists

  • Behavioral health service professionals

  • Social workers

  • Optometrists

  • Family therapists

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