South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley signed the South Carolina Telemedicine Act (S.B. 1035) into law, on June 3, 2016, establishing new telemedicine practice standards in the Palmetto State. Prior to the Act, the controlling guidance was South Carolina Code § 40-47-113 and the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners’ 2015 Advisory Opinion on Telemedicine and 2013 Advisory Opinion on Establishment of Physician-Patient Relationship as Prerequisite to Prescribing Drugs.
The Act creates a new section in the South Carolina Code (§40-47-37). It is generally consistent with the Board’s existing guidance, but some provisions of the Act may require the Board to revise or add to its existing guidance to the extent the prior guidance conflicts with the Act. It also changes some language in Section 40-47-20 (definitions) and Section 40-47-113 (doctor-patient relationship and prescribing). Interested telemedicine companies and healthcare providers looking to offer telemedicine services in South Carolina should review the new statute and adjust policies and processes accordingly.
Highlights of the new statute include the following:
The South Carolina Telemedicine Act is not the only recent telemedicine development in South Carolina. Last month, the legislature voted to override Governor Haley’s veto of the “Eye Care Consumer Protection Law” which bans prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses based solely on remote eye exams.
Originally, this post was an alert sent to the American Health Lawyers Association’s (AHLA) Health and Information Technology Practice Group Members. It appears here with permission. For more information, visit AHLA’s website.