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AK Telemedicine

Updated on August 2, 2018.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Alaska Medical Marijuana Telemedicine Laws

Alaska Medical Marijuana Program: Telemedicine

To date, Alaska has yet to pass legislation that would enact a telemedicine policy, additionally, Alaska has yet to enact parity laws, that would require private payers in Alaska, to recognize and reimburse telemedicine/telehealth services, at the same rates as the equivalent service provided in-person, despite several efforts by lawmakers — however, Alaska State Medicaid does provide coverage for telemedicine services, including store-and-forward transmissions, and according to the Center for Connected Health Policy, Alaska has the least restrictive remote patient-monitoring reimbursement policy, nationwide.

In the State of Alaska, there are two types of “telemedicine practice” permitted:

* The Board-sanctioned practice by a doctor who is not physically present with a patient when, either: there is already an established doctor-patient relationship, founded on an in-person physical examination; or a licensed health care provider is physically present with the patient, to assist the physician with their diagnosis process and patient examination; the doctor in question is providing cross-coverage emergency or on-call care, and the physician has access to the patients medical records and history; or the patient being cared for is in a community where there is no physician, nurse practitioner, nurse, or community health aid, to assist the doctor in the patient’s examination; or the physician is either a pathologist or radiologist, only reviewing and interpreting films and test samples. While this type of practice does not require that the physician in question be situated in the State of Alaska, it does, however, require that the doctor practice in accordance with all the state’s practice standards and laws.

* And, under Alaska Statute (AS) 08.64.364, the practice of telemedicine by a physician either prescribing, dispensing, or administering a prescription medication, without initially conducting a thorough medical examination, is permissible if: the prescription drug is NOT a controlled substance; the physician in question is situated in the State of Alaska, or a licensed health care provider is available for follow-up care; or, the doctor in question, sends a copy of the patient’s medical records, to the patient’s primary care physician. Physicians are required to be located in the State of Alaska, in addition to the physician being required to practice in accordance with the state’s practice standards and laws.

In an effort to expand access to care, for many of the state’s rural population, Alaska legislature allows for the prescription of medication to patients, either via the phone or online.

All out-of-state health care practitioners intending to provide telemedicine services, to patients geographically situated in the state of Alaska, must first obtain a valid medical license, from the Alabama Medical Board, prior to commencing service — however, physician-to-physician (P2P) exemptions apply.

On January 15, 2016, Alaska introduced potential legislation that would allow the state to join the Interstate Medical Licensing Compact, expediting a pathway to licensure for qualified physicians, wishing to practice telemedicine in multiple states.

Using Medical Marijuana Telemedicine Services in Alaska

Qualified medical marijuana patients please be advised that for the purposes of using medical marijuana telemedicine services online, in Alaska::

The State of Alaska requires that, in order for a marijuana doctor to conduct a medical marijuana evaluation, the physician must first conduct a patient examination, in-person.
Although patients may not see a marijuana doctor online for the initial visit, patients may choose to use medical marijuana telemedicine services online for all follow-up visits.

If you are a qualified Alaska medical marijuana patient who has already established a bonafide relationship with a medical marijuana doctor, and want to see a marijuana doctor online and on-demand now, via the medical marijuana telemedicine portal, please click here.

HIPAA is a federal law that protects the privacy of identifiable patient information, requires electronic and physical security standards related to the storage and use of PHI, and establishes standard transactions and code sets to simplify billing and other electronic transactions. HIPAA standards were updated in 2009 by the implementation of the HITECH Act and again in 2013 by the HIPAA Omnibus Rule. In accordance with HIPAA standards, is HITECH and BAA certified, and has put in place measures to protect the confidentiality of health information in any form, whether written, oral, or electronic.

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