HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 3029        FILED ON: 1/18/2019

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 917

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Paul Brodeur and Paul McMurtry

_________________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
Court assembled:

The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act to facilitate the provision of telehealth services.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Date Added:

Paul Brodeur

32nd Middlesex

1/18/2019

Paul McMurtry

11th Norfolk

1/18/2019

Jason M. Lewis

Fifth Middlesex

1/31/2019

John J. Lawn, Jr.

10th Middlesex

2/1/2019

Brian W. Murray

10th Worcester

2/1/2019

 



HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 3029        FILED ON: 1/18/2019

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 917

By Messrs. Brodeur of Melrose and McMurtry of Dedham, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 917) of Paul Brodeur, Paul McMurtry and others relative to telehealth services and third party reimbursements for health care services rendered by health professionals through telehealth.  Financial Services.

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

 

_______________

In the One Hundred and Ninety-First General Court
(2019-2020)

_______________

 

An Act to facilitate the provision of telehealth services.

 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

1.Definitions:

a.As used in this section:

i.“health professional” means an individual who is engaging in the practice of a health profession.

ii.“telehealth” means the use of electronic information and telecommunication technologies to support or promote long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health or health administration. Telehealth may include, but is not limited to, telemedicine.

iii.“telehealth service” means a health care service that is provided through telehealth.

iv.“telemedicine” means the delivery of a health care service using electronic communications, information technology, or other electronic or technological means to bridge the gap between the health care practitioner who is located at one site, and a patient who is located at a different, remote site, either with or without the assistance of an intervening health care provider, and in accordance with the provisions of this act. “Telemedicine” does not include the use, in isolation, of audio-only telephone conversation, electronic mail, instant messaging, phone text or facsimile transmission.

2.Except otherwise provided in this section, a health professional shall not provide a telehealth service without directly or indirectly obtaining consent for treatment. This section does not apply to a health professional who is providing a telehealth service to an inmate who is under the jurisdiction of the department of corrections and is housed in a correctional facility.

3.A health professional who is providing a telehealth service may prescribe the patient a drug if both of the following are met:

a.The issuance of a prescription based on a telehealth encounter shall be held to the same standard of care or practice standards as are applicable to in-person settings.

b.The drug is not a controlled substance.

4.In a manner consistent with this section and in addition to the provisions set forth in this part, a disciplinary subcommittee may place restrictions or conditions on a health professional’s ability to provide a telehealth service if the disciplinary subcommittee finds that the health professional has violated sections 2 or 3.

5.The department, in consultation with a board, may promulgate rules to implement sections 2 and 3.

6.Sections 2 and 5 do not do any of the following:

a.Require new or additional third party reimbursement for health care services rendered by a health professional through telehealth.

b.Limit the provision of a health care service otherwise allowed by law.

c.Authorize a health care service otherwise prohibited by law.