The Georgia Composite Medical Board enacted a new regulation governing the standards for telemedicine practice. The regulation, titled Practice Through Electronic or Other Such Means, is found under Georgia Comp. Rules and Regs. rule 360-3-.07 and is intended to establish the minimum standards of practice while providing treatment and/or consultation recommendations through the use of telemedicine.
Following two years of evaluation and discussions by the Board, the new rule went into effect May 3, 2014. Absent some minor changes, the rule is similar to the version originally contemplated by the Board. The rule offers some additional guidance on telemedicine practice in Georgia, although it does impose certain restrictions on telemedicine and telehealth in the State. Most notably, this is reflected in the rule establishing a default requirement of an in-person examination prior to a telemedicine encounter.
Highlights of the rule are as follows:
Georgia is among the states taking the lead on telemedicine commercial insurance reimbursement, having enacted the Georgia Telemedicine Act in 2005, mandating commercial coverage of telemedicine services. The new Medical Board rule offers additional guidance on telemedicine practice standards in Georgia.