Attention Indiana Psychiatrists: Indiana’s New Telemedicine Law

Indiana’s new telemedicine law implementing numerous telemedicine practice standards and remote prescribing rules became effective July 1, 2016.1  The new law replaces the Indiana Telehealth Pilot Program and may potentially require the Board of Medicine to rewrite some of the current telemedicine regulations that conflict with the new law.2  The new law applies to physicians, optometrists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants with prescriptive authority. Among other things, the new law permits providers to write certain prescriptions without having to physically examine the patient first.3

Some additional areas regulated by the new law include:

  • Definition of Telemedicine
  • Physician-Patient Relationship
  • Standard of Care
  • Remote Prescribing
  • Informed Consent
  • Patient Records
  • Telemedicine Providers Located Outside Indiana
  • Commercial Insurance Coverage

Please consult with your local attorney or risk management professional with any questions regarding Indiana’s new telemedicine laws.

Attention Florida Psychiatrists: Controlled Substances May Be Prescribed Via Telemedicine for the Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders

Effective March 7, 2016, the Florida Board of Medicine revised the Telemedicine Rule, Rule 64B8-9.0141 (4). The amended rule now permits controlled substances to be prescribed via telemedicine for the treatment of psychiatric disorders. As amended, the rule now reads5:  (4) Controlled substances shall not be prescribed through the use of telemedicine except for the treatment of psychiatric disorders. This provision does not preclude physicians or physician assistants from ordering controlled substances through the use of telemedicine for patients hospitalized in a facility licensed pursuant to Chapter 395, F.S.

Florida joins a growing number of states allowing controlled substances to be prescribed via telemedicine. Contact your risk management professional or local attorney to determine whether your state permits prescribing controlled substances via telemedicine.

Attention Texas Physicians:  New Law Concerning Jurisdiction for Suits by Residents of New Mexico

According to the New Mexico Medical Society, in 2013, approximately 13 counties in New Mexico sent more than 22% of their patients to Texas for medical care. Recently, New Mexico enacted a law that will be effective July 1, 2016 through July 2019, that allows Texas physicians to have their New Mexico patients sign statements accepting the jurisdiction of Texas courts in the event the patients want to sue their healthcare provider.

The issue of whether physicians could be sued in New Mexico courts arose after a patient from New Mexico sued her Texas physician in a New Mexico court. The physician claimed immunity under Texas law, which among other things has lower caps on awards and stricter statutes of limitations. The case prompted concern that Texas physicians would refuse to see patients from New Mexico because of the increased risk of litigation and possible increases in their malpractice insurance premiums. The case is currently on appeal to the New Mexico Supreme Court.6

The newly enacted law allows for a compromise while the New Mexico Supreme Court decides the outcome of the current case.

Attention Indiana Psychiatrists
1 Indiana Code Section 25-1-9.5 (2016).

2 Lacktman, N., “Key Takeaways from Indiana’s New Telemedicine Law,” Health Care Law Today, (3/28/16).

3 The National Law Review, “New Indiana Law Expands Use of Telemedicine,” (4/5/16).

Attention Florida Psychiatrists
4 Florida Board of Medicine, “Board Revised Florida’s Telemedicine Practice Rule,” (2/23/16).

5 Florida Administrative Code r. 64B8-9.0141(4), “Standards for Telemedicine Practice.”

Attention Texas Physicians and New Mexico Patients
6 Montano v. Frezza, 252 P.3d 666 (2015).