Proposed rules were recently issued by the District of Columbia Department of Health, that if passed would establish the capital’s first regulations, for telemedicine. According to the proposed rules, telemedicine is “the practice of medicine by a licensed practitioner to provide patient care, treatment or services, between a licensee in one location and a patient in another location with or without an intervening health care provider, through the use of health information and technology communications, subject to the existing standards of care and conduct.”
Physicians choosing to use telemedicine to treat patients in D.C., are required by the proposed rules, to hold a valid and active D.C. medical license. Services outside of D.C. require the the physician meet all licensure requirements in both the jurisdiction in which the physician is physically located and where the patient is physically located. The rules also state that all physicians are required to obtain and document patient consent, for telemedicine-based services, including “remote, real-time monitoring of a patient being cared for within a health care facility or home-based setting”.
As per the Telemedicine Reimbursement Act of 2013, Medicaid, state health employee plans, and private payers alike, are required to reimburse services rendered via telemedicine, as they would the equivalent service provided in-person.
All health care practitioners providing telemedicine services, are required to first document and record a patient’s informed consent, prior to commencing service — with the exception of providing interpretive services.
All health care practitioners providing telemedicine services, are required to first establish a physician-patient relationship with a patient, prior to providing a diagnosis or treatment — however, telemedicine may be used to satisfy this requirement.
All out-of-state health care practitioners intending to provide telemedicine services, to patients geographically situated in the state of District of Columbia, must first obtain a valid medical license, from the District of Columbia Medical Board, prior to commencing service — however, physician-to-physician (P2P) exemptions apply. District of Columbia extends licensure reciprocity to bordering states.
District of Columbia is one of sixteen states across the United States, to have an informed consent policy, for telemedicine.
Qualified medical marijuana patients please be advised that for the purposes of using medical marijuana telemedicine services online, in District of Columbia:
If you are a qualified Washington D.C. 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.
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