Legislative update for AR, MS, & TNThe 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. Click here to visit their webpage.

 

LEGISLATION

Passed Legislation

State Bill # Status Summary
Arkansas SB 146 2/17/17: Signed by Governor This bill would create the Telemedicine Act; amend the definition of telemedicine and originating site; addresses requirements of a professional relationship when using telemedicine; adds standards for the appropriate use of telemedicine; address insurance coverage of telemedicine; and for other purposes.
Arkansas HB 1556 3/9/17: Signed by Governor Amends the Arkansas medical marijuana amendment of 2016; prohibits telemedicine as the method by which a qualifying patient obtains a written certification.

 

Arkansas SB 78 3/8/17: Signed by Governor

 

Requires the AR State Medical Board to perform an analysis of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact to determine whether the state of Arkansas should participate.
Tennessee SB 195 4/19/17: Chaptered

 

Relates to health care; Adds healthcare services provided to a patient at a public elementary or secondary school to the current definition of telehealth services for which health insurance entities are required to reimburse in a manner that is consistent with reimbursement for in-person encounters.

 

Tennessee HB 664 5/11/17: Enacted Enacts the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.

 

Session Ended (Option for Carry Over)

State Bill # Status Summary
Arkansas HB 1437 5/7/17: Died in Senate Amends the Laws concerning telemedicine; creates the Telemedicine Act.

 

Mississippi HB 1093 1/31/17: Died Requires the Director of Medicaid to apply to CMS for any waivers for the approval of experimental, pilot or demonstration projects that promote the objectives of providing services to eligible individuals.  The waiver should, among other items, authorize the state to more extensively incorporate and encourage telemedicine options.
Mississippi HB 318 2/28/17: Died This bill establishes the MS Rural Hospital Transition and Improvement Grant Program.  Among other elements grant monies may be used by the rural hospital to establish a telemedicine system.
Mississippi HB 555 2/28/17: Died Makes minor amendments to the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact language.
Mississippi HB 861 1/31/17: Died in committee Requires State and School Employees Health Insurance Management Board to establish a pilot program for urgent health care services using a telemedicine kiosk model managed by the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
Mississippi HB 96 1/31/17: Died Allows testing required under the Medicaid program, Children’s Health Insurance program and State and School Employees health Insurance Plan for illegal drugs, alcohol, hepatitis B and C, TB and sexually transmitted diseases to be covered when delivered through telemedicine.
Tennessee HB 518 4/5/17: Taken off notice of cal. in s/c Health Subcommittee Requires the commissioner of health to study and report on recommendations for legislation concerning telehealth and telemedicine under existing statute.  The recommendations must examine the need for improving the effective use of telemedicine and telehealth among healthcare providers and insurers.
Tennessee SB 601 4/4/17: In Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor. Referred to General Subcommittee. Requires the commissioner of health to study and report on recommendations for legislation concerning telehealth and telemedicine under existing statute.  The recommendations must examine the need for improving the effective use of telemedicine and telehealth among healthcare providers and insurers.

 

REGULATION

Pending Regulation

State Reg. Citation Status Summary
Arkansas 016.06.16 11/28/16: Proposed rule

Comment Deadline: 12/30/16

Title: Telemedicine Policy

Agency: Department of Human Services, Division of Medical Services

Amends rules to update the Telemedicine policy to provide clarification of interactive audio and visual transmission of the physician patient encounter.

 

Arkansas 060.00.17 6/29/17: Proposed rule Title: Physician Assistants

Agency: Medical Board

Amends rules to add physician assistants to the practice of telemedicine and to prohibit prescriptions for marijuana by telemedicine assessment.

Tennessee TAC 0800-2-17-.1-.25 4/13/17: Proposed rule

Comment Deadline: 5/28/17

Title: Rules for Medical Payments

Agency: Division of Workers’ Compensation

For telehealth, states that the definitions, licensing and processes for the purpose of these rules shall be the same as adopted by the Tennessee Department of Health.  Reimbursement will be based upon the applicable Medicare guidelines and coding for the different service providers.

Arkansas 016.06.17 7/13/17: Notice of intended action

Comment deadline: 8/11/17

Title: Provider-Led Arkansas Shared Savings Entities

Agency: Division of Medical Services

A new Provider-Led Arkansas Shared Savings Entity (PASSE) Program policy manual is available for all PASSE providers.  Provides a definition for telemedicine and allows the required face-to-face encounter for care coordinators to take place over telemedicine.

 

Adopted Rules

State Bill # Status Summary
Arkansas 060.00.16

 

Status: 12/15/16

Effective: 12/25/16

Title:  Regulation 38: Telemedicine

Agency: AR Medical Board

Amends rule concerning telemedicine to establish a requirement for physicians to provide services.  Specifically, it eliminates the section of the rule which states that a telemedicine vendor of a patient completing a medical history online and forwarding it to a physician does not qualify as store and forward technology.

Mississippi Part 2635 4/10/17: Adopted

Effective: 5/10/17

Title: Practice of Medicine

Agency: Board of Medical Licensure

Amends MS policy regarding out of state physicians, eliminating the exception that when evaluation, treatment and or/medicine by a physician outside of MS is requested by a physician licensed in MS, and that physician has already established a doctor/physician relationship with the patient, that a MS license is not required by the out of state provider.  Adds that the interpretation of clinical laboratory studies as well as pathology and histopathology studies performed by physicians without Mississippi licensure is not the practice of telemedicine provided a Mississippi licensed physician is responsible for accepting, rejecting, or modifying the interpretation. The Mississippi licensed physician must maintain exclusive control over any subsequent therapy or additional diagnostics.

Mississippi Title 20, Part 2 5/15/17: Rule Adopted

Effective: 6/14/17

Title:  Workers Compensation Medical Fee Schedule

Agency: Workers’ Compensation Commission

Amends rules pertaining to Workers’ Compensation Medical Fee Schedule to add the recently developed Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission Guidelines for the Prescription of Opiates into the schedule.  Specifically, it provides a definition of telemedicine and tele-emergency and sets parameters around out-of-state providers utilizing telemedicine.