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Alert: Georgia Medical Board Telemedicine Rule

August 22, 2016

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The Georgia Composite Medical Board adopted Rule 360-3-.07, addressing the practice of telemedicine that went into effect in 2014.  In order for a physician to practice through electronic means in Georgia, the following minimum conditions must be met. [1]

  • Georgia license is required – This includes physicians as well as physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses (collectively referred to as providers).
  • Must have the patient’s history - The patient’s history must be available to the provider at the time of the consult via electronic or other such means.
  •  In person exam required with exceptions - Prior to seeing a patient via telemedicine, the provider must have personally conducted an in-person examination of the patient.  There are three exceptions to this rule:
    • The provider is seeing the patient at the request of another Georgia licensed provider who has personally seen and examined the patient; or
    • The provider can examine the patient using technology and peripherals that are equal or superior to an in-person exam done within that provider’s standard of care; or
    • The provider is seeing the patient at the request of a Public Health Nurse, a Public School Nurse, the Department of Family and Children’s Services, law enforcement, community mental health center or through an established child advocacy center for the protection of a minor, and the provider can examine the patient using technology and peripherals that are equal or superior to an in-person exam done within that provider’s standard of care.
  • Patient records – The provider must maintain patient records which document the evaluation and treatment of the patient and the identity of the provider.  A copy of the record must be provided to the referring provider, if applicable.
  • NPs and PAs – Before NPs or Pas may practice telemedicine, a physician must document to the Board that telemedicine is within his or her scope of practice and that the NP or PA has demonstrated competence in the provision of telemedicine.
  • Provider identification, credentials and emergency contact information – The patient or his or her agent must be given each provider’s name, credentials and emergency contact information.  For physicians, credentials include his or her area of practice and training.  For PAs and NPs credentials include the area of licensure and the name of the delegating or supervising physician.
  • Clear follow-up instructions – The patient or his or her agent must be provided clear, appropriate and accurate follow up instructions in the event any emergency care is needed in relation to the treatment. These should be documented in the patient’s records.
  • Annual in person exam – The provider must make “diligent efforts” to have the patient examined in-person by a Georgia physician, PA or NP at least annually. 
  • Not applicable to controlled substances for pain – The Rule specifically states that it does not authorize the prescription of controlled substances for pain or chronic pain by telemedicine.
  • Same standard of care – The same standard of care applies to the practice of telemedicine as it does to the practice of traditional, in-person care.

To see a copy of the entirety of Rule 360-3-.07, please copy and paste the following address into your browser: https://medicalboard.georgia.gov/sites/medicalboard.georgia.gov/files/related_files/site_page/Adopted%20Telemedicine%20Rule.pdf   

For questions concerning the requirements of this rule, please contact the Georgia Composite Board of State Medical Examiners.

[1] Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. 360-3-.07.

Disclaimer

The information provided in this resource does not constitute legal, medical or any other professional advice, nor does it establish a standard of care. This resource has been created as an aid to you in your practice. The ultimate decision on how to use the information provided rests solely with you, the PolicyOwner.

Footnotes