California

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Recent News, Pending Action

Legislative Action

  • No proposed telemedicine bills have passed yet in 2015. Legislative tracking can be found at the ATA State Policy Resource Center.
  • State Policy Resource Center

Insurance Laws and Regulations

  • California law mandates that all health care service plans cover services that can be adequately provided through telemedicine. California Insurance Code, 1374.13, lists the standards which health care service plans must meet and requires that the Medi-Cal managed care program plans also cover telemedicine services.

Medicaid Law and Regulations

  • Search the California State Medicaid Page
  • Coverage for interactive audio-video and store-and-forward for the purposes of dermatology and ophthalmology.
  • Although Medi-Cal recognizes chiropractors, dentists, pharmacists, and respiratory care practitioners as eligible licensed providers for telemedicine.
  • Also recognizes occupational, physical, speech and language therapists, and audiologists as eligible providers of telemedicine but offers no billing details for rehabilitation services via telemedicine.
  • Telepresenter required on premises because they must obtain patent informed consent.
  • 2014 legislation introduced to allow Medi-Cal enrolled providers to practice telemedicine out-of-state, add coverage for telephonic and electronic patient management, and teledental health.
  • State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Policies, Center for Connected Health Policy, November 2013

Physician Licensure and Practice Standards

  • Last policy revision: January 2012.
  • Allows telemedicine to establish the patient-physician relationship.
  • Requires verbal patient informed consent to be obtained by telepresenter at the originating site. However, verbal consent shall not apply to a patient under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation or any other correctional facility.
  • In 2014, AB 2484 was introduced to allow written informed consent.
  • Requires full license and allows provider to provider exemption.
  • Requires in-person physical exam.
  • Requires pre-existing relationship.
  • State statutes and regulations

Psychologist Licensure and Clinical Practice Standards

  • Allows telehealth to establish the patient-psychologist relationship.
  • Requires written or verbal patient informed consent.
  • Requires full license and allows CPQ to expedite licensure process.

Innovation

  • California Telehealth Network supports broadband connections of many institutions state-wide.
  • The Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention program in California is an enabling and population-based service funded by a Title V grant. Bestowed to CA Department of Education, the program serves to reduce the lost-to-follow-up for infants needing diagnostic evaluation in the rural Northern California region by 50% through the implementation of teleaudiology. The lack of a contractual agreement and the loss of the HCC in Northern California have resulted in a significant reduction of teleaudiology services.
  • The EMSC State Partnership Regionalization of Care (SPROC) program in California is an infrastructure building service funded by a Title V grant. Bestowed to Regents of the University of California, the program enacts guidelines for real-time telemedicine consultation with the definitive care receiving facility. The program also aims to incorporate real-time telemedicine in patient transport from the NCEMSR to the definitive care receiving facility.
  • The Increasing Access and Improving Care Delivered to Abused Children in Rural, Underserved Hospitals with Telemedicine program in California was a pediatric research endeavor funded by a Title V grant. Bestowed to the Regents of the University of California, the program employed monthly training in the recognition, evaluation, and treatment of childhood physical and sexual abuse via telemedicine. It also allowed 24/7 access to live telemedicine consultations from child abuse experts in order to assist with the history, examination, and interpretation of findings.

Organization and People Resources