Pa. Department of State Issues Telemedicine Guidance to Address COVID-19 Emergency

Last Updated: Mar 19, 2020

Telemedicine-Doc-CartoonThe Pennsylvania Department of State’s (DOS) Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) has released guidance clarifying that health care professionals licensed under any of BPOA’s licensing boards can provide services to patients via telemedicine during the COVID-19 emergency. This guidance can be accessed here.

This guidance applies to licensees under the State Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine as well as other various state licensing boards.

Additionally, DOS also announced that it has been granted a suspension by Governor Wolf  to allow licensed practitioners in other states to provide services to Pennsylvanians via the use of telemedicine, without obtaining a Pennsylvania license, for the duration of the COVD-19 emergency.

For out-of-state practitioners to provide telemedicine services in Pennsylvania, such practitioners must:

  • Be licensed and in good standing in their home state, territory or country.
  • Provide the Pennsylvania licensing board from whom they would normally seek licensure with the following information prior to practicing telemedicine with Pennsylvanians:
    • Their full name, home or work mailing address, telephone number and email address; and
    • Their license type, license number or other identifying information that is unique to that practitioner’s license, and the state or other governmental body that issued the license.

This information must be submitted to the appropriate board resource account listed on the BPOA website.

The guidance notes that authorization to engage in telemedicine from a professional licensing standpoint is separate and apart from any insurance coverage or payment issues.

Also, note that all practitioners using telemedicine in Pennsylvania must remain informed on all federal and state laws, regulations and guidance regarding telemedicine, including a practitioner’s obligations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and recent guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

DOS and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) also recently published a guidance letter concerning COVID-19 to health care providers, which can be accessed here.

For additional information, please visit the DOS website.

The Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) will continue to provide updated information and informational resources regarding the COVID-19 emergency here.

1 comment

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  1. Stephen Banco | Mar 19, 2020
    The telemedicine reimbursement schedule is not sustainable for us during this crisis.  Please have the governor mandate that ALL telemed appointments should be coded and  paid as a regular office visit 99201-99205

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