Rotator-Graphic_PendingLegislation-300x101The following is a list of legislative activities for telehealth and telemedicine within the South Central region (AR, MS and TN).  A special thanks goes to the Center for Connected Health policy for providing this information. You may visit their webpage by clicking the following link:  http://telehealthpolicy.us/laws/pending/state

Pending legislation and regulation webpage

Approved Legislation

State Bill # Status Summary
Arkansas HB 1076 4/2/15: Enacted. This bill would prohibit the use of telemedicine to administer the abortion pill.  Similar to SB 53.
Arkansas SB 53 2/25/15: Act No. 139 This bill would prohibit the use of telemedicine to administer the abortion pill.  Similar to HB 1076.
Arkansas SB 96 2/11/15: Signed by Governor. Act No. 46 This bill would provide for the Department of Human Services to submit and apply for a federal waiver or authority necessary to transform the Arkansas Medicaid program into a program with maximum state flexibility in the use of the funds for innovative and cost-effective solutions for the provision of health care.  Among other things, the solutions through this effort shall aim to sustain and improve optimized use of telemedicine.
Arkansas SB 133 4/1/15: Enacted Sponsor: Bledsoe

This bill would authorize reimbursement and regulation of services provided through telemedicine, among other things.

Arkansas SB 678 3/24/15: Enacted This bill appropriates funds towards electronic health records and telehealth services grants.
Tennessee HB 699 4/24/15: Signed by Governor. This bill clarifies certain standards related to a telehealth encounter, including consent, a provider-patient relations, licensing, and the definition of telehealth.
Tennessee SB 1223 4/30/15: Chaptered. This bill relates to Physicians and Surgeons; establishes requirements and protections for healthcare providers that practice telehealth.

Dead Legislation / Session Ended

State Bill # Status Summary
Arkansas HB 1747 4/22/15: Sine die adjournment. This bill would provide for a definition of telemedicine, and professional practice standards for providers delivering services through telemedicine. It would allow a professional relationship between a licensed health care professional and patient to be established through interactive audio or video technology, among other things.  An “emergency clause” is connected to this bill.
Arkansas SB 845 4/22/15: Sine die adjournment. This bill would provide for a definition of telemedicine, and professional practice standards for providers delivering services through telemedicine. It would allow a professional relationship between a licensed health care professional and patient to be established through interactive audio or video technology, among other things.  An “emergency clause” is connected to this bill.
Arkansas SB 846 4/22/15: Sine die adjournment. The purpose of this act is to encourage telemedicine. No other details are currently available.
Mississippi HB 114 3/3/15: Died in Committee This bill would establish the Mississippi Rural Hospital Transition and Improvement Grant Program. Under the grant, moneys can be used for (among other things) establishing a telemedicine system.
Mississippi HB 1605 2/25/15: Died in committee This bill would provide an income tax credit to employers who pay costs in connection with a qualified wellness program.  A qualified wellness program means a program that consists of at least three specified components.  One of these components is a supportive environment which includes access to healthy options at the workplace and policies and services that promote healthy lifestyle behaviors, including policies to (among other things) access on-site and/or telehealth services.
Mississippi SB 2333 1/25/15: Died in committee. This bill would create a tax credit for employers that pay for costs associated with a qualified wellness plan.  The plan must consist of at least three components of the following components: a health awareness component, an employee engagement component, behavioral change component, supportive component (which includes access to on-site care and/or telehealth services).
Tennessee HB 660 2/19/15: Assigned to s/c Insurance and Banking Subcommittee. Amends Tennessee Code relative to telemedicine, clarifying that for a health insurance entity to be required to provide coverage for a telehealth encounter, it must involve a licensed health care provider. Similar to SB 725. (carryover to 2016)
Tennessee HB 976 3/24/15: Failed in s/c Health Subcommittee. This bill defines teledentistry and allows initial and subsequent examinations by dentists to be accomplished by means of teledentistry. (carryover to 2016)
Tennessee SB 725 3/4/15: Assigned to General Subcommittee of Senate Commerce and Labor Committee Amends Tennessee Code relative to telemedicine, clarifying that for a health insurance entity to be required to provide coverage for a telehealth encounter, it must involve a licensed health care provider. Similar to HB 660. (carryover to 2016)
Tennessee SB 1214 3/27/15: Assigned to General Subcommittee of Senate Health and Welfare Committee. This bill defines teledentistry and allows initial and subsequent examinations by dentists to be accomplished by means of teledentistry. (carryover to 2016)

Pending Regulation

State Bill # Status Summary
Mississippi 30 Admin Code Part 2435, Ch. 5 4/20/15: Notice of Public Hearing

Comment Deadline: 5/15/15

Title: SOS System No. 21111

Agency: Board of Medical Licensure

This rule would replace and update rules regarding the practice of telemedicine.

Tennessee TAC 0880-2-.16 1/20/15: Proposed Rule

Comment Deadline: 3/6/15

Title: Rules Governing the Practice of Medicine

Agency: Department of Health, Bureau of Health Licensure and Regulation & Board of Medical Examiners

Revises TN’s rules related to telemedicine licensure and establishes standards for practicing telemedicine and prescribing controlled substances via telemedicine.

Adopted Rules

State Bill # Status Summary
Arkansas 117.00.14 9/22/15: Rule Adoption

Effective: 9/26/15

Title: General Provisions

Agency: Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

Establishes guidelines for the use of telepractice in speech language pathology and audiology.

Mississippi Title 23, New Part 225, New Chapter 1, New Rules 1.1- 1.6, 2.1-2.6, 3.1-3.6, 4.1-4.6 6/1/15: Rule adopted.

Effective: 7/1/15

Title: Telemedicine

Agency: Office of the Governor, Division of Medicaid

This rule would add a section on telemedicine which includes coverage language for telehealth, remote patient monitoring, teleradiology and continuous glucose monitoring.

Mississippi Title 23, Part 220, Chapter 1, Rule 1.4 6/1/15: Rule adopted.

Effective: 7/1/15

Title: Teleradiology

Agency: Division of Medicaid

This rule would move teleradiology language into the telemedicine section of Medicaid policy.

Mississippi Title 23, Part 212, Ch. 1 Rule 1.4 10/27/2015: Finalized. Effective: 12/1/2015 Title: Reimbursement Methodology

Agency: Office of the Governor, Division of Medicaid

This rule would provide for an additional transmission fee for telehealth services provided by RHCs and FQHCs acting as originating sites, effective Jan. 1, 2015.