Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin recently signed into law SB 726, establishing new telemedicine practice standards, including explicitly allowing doctors to create valid physician-patient relationships via telemedicine without an in-person exam. The new law is effective November 1, 2017.
The bill creates a new section in the Oklahoma Code (Sections 478 and 478.1 of Title 59). A summary of the key provisions follows:
Oklahoma already has medical board regulations (Okla. Admin. Code r. 435:10-7-13) and a position statement on the practice of telemedicine, and the new law may potentially require the Oklahoma Board of Medicine to rewrite some of its existing guidance to the extent it conflicts with the controlling provisions of the new statute. The new law can serve to streamline and simplify existing Oklahoma rules, and give a greater degree of confidence for accepted telemedicine practices. Industry insiders may recall the 2013 Trow decision, in which a physician was sanctioned by the Oklahoma Medical Board for inappropriate telemedicine prescribing practices, including controlled substances.
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