The Nevada Legislature passed Assembly Bill 292 (Chapter 153, Statutes of Nevada), in 2015, permitting the use of telehealth to facilitate the provision of health care services, to improve public health and the quality of health care, by remotely delivering health care services, public health, and health-related education, to patients and physicians. The Nevada Legislature defines “telehealth”, as “the delivery of services from a provider of health care to a patient at a different location through the use of information and audio-visual communication technology, not including standard telephones, facsimile, or electronic mail”.
Overall, telehealth has the potential, to increase the availability and access to quality health and medical care, to improve overall population health, while lowering the cost of health care. Nevada regulation defines telehealth into four brand categories: Live video (synchronous service involving real-time two-way interaction via a live stream feed between different locations); Store-and-forward (asynchronous services involving the transmission of recorded health information — i.e. prerecorded video, x-ray, MRI, etc. — via an electronic communications system, non-realtime, to the provider providing the health care service); Remote patient monitoring (technology used to collect and monitor, personal or health data from an individual in one location, to a provider at a different geographical location); Mobile health (mobile communication technology devices — including tablets, and smartphones — that are used to support the health care, public health, and education, of communities.
Telehealth offers an opportunity for patients, especially those individuals who are situated in rural or underserved areas — one-third of Nevadan’s are situated in areas with a shortage of primary care and dental providers, while 38% (thirty-eight percent) of Nevada residents, live in areas with a shortage of mental health providers — to receive services conveniently located (i.e. at home, or closer to home), reduce the amount of lost travel and work time, in addition to the associated costs of traveling to and from traditional health care appointments, situated at distant locations.
Nevada regulation requires that, whether providing a diagnosis, treatment order, prescription, or directing/managing a patient’s care, providers must have a valid Nevada medical license/certificate to practice, unless the health care provider is providing services within the spectrum of contract or employment, of an urban Native American organization. All health care services, in-person and telehealth services, must meet all required standards of care, and be within the health providers’ spectrum of practice. Health care providers with a valid license, are subject to all State laws and regulations.
State law requires that Medicaid, and all policies of health or industrial insurances, cover telehealth services to the exact extent, as the equivalent services provided in-person.
On May 27, 2015, Nevada enacted legislature allowing the state to join the Interstate Medical Licensing Compact, expediting a pathway to licensure for qualified physicians, wishing to practice telemedicine in multiple states.
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.
Nevada requires that all health care practitioners providing telemedicine services, first obtain a patient’s informed consent, prior to commencing service — the method by which, has yet to be defined.
Nevada is one of sixteen states across the United States, to have an informed consent policy, for telemedicine.
For the first time in history, qualified medical marijuana patients may now choose to see a marijuana doctor online, using medical marijuana telemedicine services for the purposes of obtaining a Nevada medical marijuana evaluation.
If you are a qualified medical marijuana patient, living in Nevada, you can now choose to: