A recent trend among states is the introduction of legislation to adopt interstate licensure compacts. Interstate licensure compacts allow special licensure or exceptions to state licensing requirements for specific health care providers to practice across state lines in other states that have adopted the same compact as long as certain requirements are met. Current compacts include the Physical Therapy Compact, Nurse Licensure Compact, Interstate Medical Licensure Compact and the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact. One such compact that has received less attention, but has been gaining traction lately is the Recognition of EMS Personnel Licensure Interstate CompAct (REPLICA). REPLICA is a multi-state compact that allows emergency medical services (EMS) personnel in REPLICA member states to respond to calls and transport patients across state lines and provide emergency services before returning to their home state without having to apply for a separate license in another REPLICA member state. It is not considered a separate license, but rather is an extension of a privilege for EMS personnel to practice on a short-term, intermittent basis under certain circumstances including:
- Response areas that cross state lines
- Staffing for large scale responses that are not at the level of a governor’s declaration of a disaster
- Staffing for large scale planned special events such as concerts or sporting events
Newly Released RAND Reports
Two new reports were recently released by RAND. The first report, Experiences of Medicaid Programs and Health Centers in Implementing Telehealth was commissioned by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) to explore the experiences of state Medicaid programs and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in utilizing telehealth. RAND researchers conducted telephone discussions with representatives of seven state Medicaid programs and 19 urban and rural FQHCs in the same states. The findings from the report included that Medicaid policies varied across numerous areas and that FQHCs encountered barriers in reimbursement, workflow and provider willingness. The second report was also commissioned by ASPE and is the Report to Congress: Current State of Technology-Enable Collaborative Learning and Capacity Building Models. The report was required under the 2016 “Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes (ECHO)” law. The findings included that evidence of the impact of ECHO on patient and provider outcomes remains modest and an absence of standardization in the collection of information.
Visit the RAND website for more information.
Last year, Nebraska and Colorado based Visiting Nurse Associations (VNA) partnered with telehealth software company Health Recovery Solutions (HRS) to launch pilot health intervention programs to improve care management and coordination among patients receiving home health services, especially those living with heart disease. The programs are designed to improve care management and coordination by complementing traditional home health care.
In the first week of February, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released two sets of guidance documents (one draft and the other final), aimed at easing administrative burdens on medical device and digital health manufacturers, and facilitating growth while maintaining safety.
Hosted by: Center for Connected Health Policy
Presenter: Mei Kwong, J.D., CCHP – Executive Director; Jonathan Neufeld, PhD, gpTRAC – Executive Director
Join the Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) on February 21st, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM (PST) for an examination of recent telehealth policy changes. CCHP Executive Director, Mei Kwong will be joined by Jonathan Neufeld, PhD of gpTRAC to discuss:
CY 2019 Medicare Telehealth Policy Changes
Medicare Advantage Plans & Telehealth
Latest on Telehealth & Substance Use Disorder
Developments on the State Level
FQHCs & RHCs
In North Dakota’s SB 2094, which was introduced in early January and amended in the Senate Human Services Committee later that month, has been gaining some attention in telehealth circles due to some of its more unique characteristics; largely because it allows a valid relationship between a licensee and a patient to be established over telemedicine. Alone this is not unique, as it is relatively common for states to allow a licensee-patient relationship to be established via live video telemedicine (CCHP has identified at least 28 states with this explicit allowance). However, the legislation specifies that the examination can take place either via video conferencing or “store-and-forward technology for appropriate diagnostic testing and use of peripherals.” It goes on to specify that in certain types of telemedicine utilizing asynchronous store-and-forward technology or electronic monitoring, such as teleradiology or intensive care unit monitoring, it is not necessary to conduct an independent exam of the patient. This allowance for store-and-forward to be used in establishing a valid relationship is rare.