Attention Connecticut Psychiatrists
Mental health parity: Public Act 19-159, An Act Concerning Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits, went into effect January 1, 2020 and prevents insurance companies from placing more stringent limits on mental health and substance abuse services than other physical health services. Court-ordered mental health services also must be covered by companies. The bill requires that insurance companies not place more stringent limits on mental health and substance use disorder benefits than for medical and surgical benefits. It also requires insurance coverage of substance abuse services if required by a court. Lastly, the bill requires that insurance companies file annual reports with the state certifying that they are complying with parity.
Attention Florida Psychiatrists
Telehealth: Chapter 2019-137, Laws of Florida, established standards of practice for telehealth services, including patient evaluations, record-keeping, and controlled substances prescribing. The law also authorizes out-of-state health care practitioners to perform telehealth services for patients in Florida if registered with the Florida Department of Health to do so. The out-of-state telehealth provider registration is for health care practitioners licensed outside of Florida ONLY. Florida licensees can already provide telehealth services to patients in Florida that they can treat in person.
Attention Oklahoma Psychiatrists
Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances: Per HB 2931, effective January 1, 2020, all medical prescribers will have to use electronic prescriptions for controlled substances unless they have a waiver from their respective licensure board. Oklahoma psychiatrists may access the waiver form on: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RXWaiverApplication. Without a waiver, the prescriber must have an e-prescribing system in place by January 1, 2020 to prescribe all schedules of CDS (Schedule II to Schedule V).
Attention Texas Psychiatrists
Expedited Licensure: Texas Medical Board Rule 163.13 Expedited Licensure Process. The Texas Medical Board adopted rules authorizing a new process for out-of-state physicians to more easily obtain licensure in Texas, helping to ease physician shortages throughout the state. The new rules implement licensure provisions in House Bill 1504 (86th Regular Legislative Session). The Board’s Expedited Licensure rules will now include applicants who hold a full physician license in good standing in another U.S. state or Canada. The out-of-state physician must be actively practicing medicine and meet certain criteria, including no history of negative peer review actions, license disciplinary history, or be under investigation by any licensing or law enforcement. In addition, the applicant must declare intention to practice in a rural community as determined by the Office of Rural Health Initiatives; or to practice medicine in a medically underserved area or health professional shortage area designated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.