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AB-354 Telemedicine.(2005-2006)

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AB354:v90#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 354
CHAPTER 449

An act to add and repeal Section 14132.725 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to Medi‑Cal.

[ Approved by Governor  September 30, 2005. Filed with Secretary of State  September 30, 2005. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 354, Cogdill. Telemedicine.
Existing law, the Medical Practice Act, regulates the practice of telemedicine, defined as the practice of health care delivery, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, transfer of medical data, and education using interactive audio, video, or data communications.
This bill would, commencing July 1, 2006, and until January 1, 2009, authorize under the Medi‑Cal program, to the extent that federal financial participation is available, “teleophthalmology and teledermatology by store and forward,” as defined. The bill would require the State Department of Health Services to, on or before January 1, 2008, report to the Legislature specified information regarding store and forward telemedicine provided under this provision as a Medi-Cal benefit.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 14132.725 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

14132.725.
 (a) Commencing July 1, 2006, to the extent that federal financial participation is available, face‑to‑face contact between a health care provider and a patient shall not be required under the Medi‑Cal program for teleophthalmology and teledermatology by store and forward. Services appropriately provided through this store and forward process are subject to billing and reimbursement policies developed by the department.
(b) For purposes of this section, “teleophthalmology and teledermatology by store and forward” means an asynchronous transmission of medical information to be reviewed at a later time by a physician at a distant site who is trained in ophthalmology or dermatology, where the physician at the distant site reviews the medical information without the patient being present in real time. A patient receiving teleophthalmology or teledermatology by store and forward shall be notified of the right to receive interactive communication with the distant specialist physician, and shall receive an interactive communication with the distant specialist physician, upon request. If requested, communication with the distant specialist physician may occur either at the time of the consultation, or within 30 days of the patient’s notification of the results of the consultation.
(c) Notwithstanding Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, the department may implement, interpret, and make specific this section by means of all county letters, provider bulletins, and similar instructions.
(d) On or before January 1, 2008, the department shall report to the Legislature the number and type of services provided, and the payments made related to the application of store and forward telemedicine as provided, under this section as a Medi‑Cal benefit.
(e) The health care provider shall comply with the informed consent provisions of subdivisions (c) to (g), inclusive, of, and subdivisions (i) and (j) of, Section 2290.5 of the Business and Professions Code when a patient receives teleophthalmology or teledermatology by store and forward.
(f) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2009, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2009, deletes or extends that date.