It seems that California has taken a big step forward towards enabling telehealth by removing some requirements and credentialing restrictions. On 7 October, the Telehealth Advancement Act of 2011 (AB 415) was signed by their governor. It will remove some onerous requirements–such as obtaining additional, written informed consent and to document a barrier to an in-person visit prior to using telehealth through Medi-Cal. It also eliminates restrictions on the type of settings where telehealth may be used and on reimbursement for email or telephone consultations. Also it permits streamlined telehealth credentialing process by facilities, a method recently approved by CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services). A specific intent of the bill was covering underserved areas. The development of the bill was assisted by the California State Rural Health Association and the Center for Connected Health Policy, with undoubtedly some hope in assisting the spread of telehealth in rural areas. Center for Telehealth & e-Health Law
Dr. Peter Shah
Excellent advancement for telehealth/telecare/telemedicine, as California is well known for trends in new advacements in law and technology, besides fashion and conservation and entertainment. Since California has one of the largest economies in the world, acceptance and utilization of tele services will foster and encourage other U.S. states to “jump on the tele bandwagon,” just like Canada, UK, India, and Australia.