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 January 2, 2015, Ohio Medicaid telemedicine payment rule OAC 5160-1-18 went into effect and approved billing instructions for the rule were released.

On March 23, 2017, the SMBO adopted the following rules for prescribing for persons not seen by the Physician:
  • 4731-11-01 Definitions (for rules in Chapter 4731-11, Ohio Administrative Code)
  • 4731-11-09 Prescribing for persons not seen by the physician.

Ohio Academy of Family Physicians Resources

Health Policy Institute of Ohio Resources

Additional Information and Resources