Texas Telehealth Regulations and Laws
Telehealth Regulations in Texas
Most states have regulatory provisions governing the provision of telemedicine services. This article provides clarity on Texas state 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 parity laws.
If you are looking for more information related to Texas’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.
Standard of Care
A healthcare professional providing a healthcare service or procedure as a telemedicine medical service or a telehealth service is subject to the standard of care that would apply to the provision of the same healthcare service or procedure in an in-person setting.
A valid practitioner-patient relationship exists when the practitioner complies with standard of care requirements, the practitioner uses a prescribed method to perform telehealth services, and the method allows the practitioner to have access to, and the practitioner uses, relevant clinical information that would be required in accordance with standard of care requirements.
Are There Online Prescription Restrictions?
To be a valid prescription, a prescription for non controlled substances must be issued for a legitimate medical purpose by a practitioner acting in the usual course of the practitioner's professional practice. There may be additional healthcare provider-specific limitations on prescribing controlled substances via a telecommunications platform.
Informed Patient Consent
A health professional who provides or facilitates the use of telemedicine medical services or telehealth services shall ensure that the informed consent of the patient, or another appropriate individual authorized to make health care treatment decisions for the patient, is obtained before providing telemedicine or telehealth services.
Texas does not specify any particular requirements for how a provider should verify patient identification before treating a patient via telemedicine visits.
A health professional providing healthcare services via telemedicine or telehealth must maintain complete and accurate medical records as defined in Texas law.
Cross-State Medicine Licensing
Texas is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). The NLC allows nurses to practice in other NLC states without having to obtain additional licenses.
Payment Parity Laws
Texas has a payment parity law meaning that a health benefit plan must provide coverage for a covered healthcare services or procedure delivered by a preferred or contracted health professional to a covered patient as a telemedicine medical service or telehealth services on the same basis and to the same extent that the plan provides coverage for the service, consultation, or procedure in an in-person visit.
What Types of Providers Are Allowed to Offer Telehealth Services in Texas?
In Texas, the healthcare providers allowed to offer virtual health services include:
Mental health professionals
Behavioral health professionals
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