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 (SMBO) adopted an interpretive guideline concerning Ohio Administrative Code Rule 4731-11-09 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.
On January 29, 2014, the Ohio Senate passed House Bill 123. The bill doesn’t attempt to establish standards for payment for telemedicine services, but instead requires Medicaid to establish those standards. The bill neglects to set any payment standards for private insurers relative to telemedicine services choosing to focus on Medicaid payments alone.
On March 9, 2016, the SMBO policy committee met to discuss a framework for development of a “Prescribing to Patients Not Seen” rule that was mandated with passage of House Bill 188. According to the legislation, the SMBO must have a telehealth/telemedicine rule in place by the end of calendar year 2016.
In July 2016, the SMBO submitted draft rules to the Common Sense Initiative for review and interested parties were invited to submit comments. Pursuant to comments received, the SMBO amended the proposed language originally filed to reflect the feedback received. That amended language was approved by the SMBO at its meeting on September 14, 2016, and a public hearing on the proposed rules is scheduled for Thursday, December 8, 2016.
Ohio Academy of Family Physician Resources
- Public Hearing on Telemedicine Rules Scheduled for December 8 (Weekly Family Medicine Update, November 8, 2016)
- State Medical Board Files Revised Telemedicine Rules with Common Sense Initiative (Weekly Family Medicine Update, September 27, 2016)
- Telemedicine Rules Submitted to CSI (Weekly Family Medicine Update, July 12, 2016)
Medical Board Policy Committee Discusses Prescribing to Patients Not Seen (Weekly Family Medicine Update, March 15, 2016)
OAFP Submits Comments on Telemedicine Rules (Weekly Family Medicine Update, February 2, 2016)
OAFP Opposes Telemedicine Amendment in State Budget Bill (Weekly Family Medicine Update, June 2, 2015)
State of Ohio Medical Board Objects to Telemedicine Amendment Included in Budget Bill (Weekly Family Medicine Update, May 5, 2015)
- Summary of OAFP Board of Directors Telemedicine Discussion (October 12, 2014)
- Will Technology Make Virtual Primary Care Visits Common? (The Ohio Family Physician, Summer 2012)
- Recent News Articles Prompt Telemedicine Discussions (Weekly Family Medicine Update, April 10, 2012)
Health Policy Institute of Ohio Resources
- Second Annual Telehealth Leadership Summit (August 19, 2014)
- Telehealth Leadership Summit: Key findings and Considerations (August 2013)
- Looking Ahead: Understanding Telehealth in Ohio (April 16, 2013)
- Telehealth Resource Page
Additional Information and Resources
- Telemedicine Kiosk Company Signs Technology Integration Deal with Sprint (MedCity News, February 16, 2012)
- Rite Aid Clinics Place New Twist on ‘Doc in a Box (American Medical News, February 6, 2012)
- HealthSpot Hopes Compact Kiosks Can be Next Big Thing in Medicine (Columbus Business First, February 3, 2012)
- Federation of State Medical Boards’ Telemedicine Report (March 10, 2011)