Our healthcare and business law firm previously published a blog post on the federal telemedicine rules. Both Federal and State rules govern the provision of telemedicine. Each state’s rules governing telemedicine are different, but the applicable laws and rules are generally found in the state medical board’s rules, insurance code, and, when applicable, Medicaid rules. This post focuses specifically on the telemedicine rules applicable to the practice of telemedicine in Alabama. This post does not discuss telemedicine prescribing rules. If you have questions about telemedicine rules or would like to discuss this blog post, you may contact our healthcare and business law firm at (404) 685-1662 (Atlanta) or (706) 722-7886 (Augusta), or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also learn more about our law firm by visiting www.hamillittle.com.
Alabama Rules Prior to July 11, 2022
Telemedicine authority in Alabama is new. In fact, the law discussed herein (Act No. 2022-302) does not go into effect until July 11, 2022. Prior to the enactment of Act No. 2022-302, there was little to no authority regulating telemedicine versus traditional in-person medical practice, and physicians were held to the same standard of care, regardless of treatment modality, regarding such matters as the establishment of a physician-patient relationship and the prescribing of controlled substances and other medications. Prior to the enactment of Act No. 2022-302, physicians treating Alabama citizens via telemedicine had to have the medical license and controlled license of an Alabama physician and were held to the same standards as in-person treatment. See, e.g., Ala. Admin § 540-X-9-.11. Regarding prescribing controlled substances, telemedicine physicians were required to adhere to all federal and state statutes, and federal regulations currently require a previous in-person examination before prescribing controlled substances via telemedicine, except in a declared health emergency. Id.