Telehealth is an emerging strategy to address access and quality of care issues. The term “telehealth” includes subtopics such as an exchange of medical information from one site to another via electronic communications for the purpose of providing clinical support or care; remote clinical care and patient monitoring; e-health; professional and patient-related health education and health information management.
On September 13, 2012, the State Medical Board of Ohio adopted an interpretive guideline concerning Rule 4731-11-09, Ohio Administrative Code and the requirement to personally physically examine and diagnose a patient prior to initially prescribing. The interpretive guideline applies solely to cases that involve prescribing or personally furnishing non-controlled substances and recognizes that with advances in medical technology it may be possible for the “personal” and “physical” examination, required by Rule 4731-11-09, to occur when the provider and patient are located in remote locations.
Introduction of telehealth legislation is anticipated in the 130th Ohio General Assembly. Such legislation will likely authorize Medicaid to reimburse for telehealth services, but is not likely to extend that authorization or to require private payers to reimburse for telehealth services.
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