Florida's emergency order for telehealth expires

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' executive order declaring a public health emergency expired June 26, cutting off flexibilities for telehealth across the state, the Sun Sentinel reported. 

As of June 26, telephones are no longer covered as an acceptable platform to deliver telehealth services to non-Medicare patients in Florida, and physicians cannot use telehealth to prescribe controlled substances to existing patients for treating chronic nonmalignant pain, according to the report. 

Florida Department of Health Secretary Scott Rivkees waived a state law during the COVID-19 pandemic that requires physicians and nurses to be licensed in Florida to work in the state, which let out-of-state providers come to Florida to help prevent potential staffing shortages. The provision also expired June 26. 

Effective July 1, the Agency for Health Care Administration also will limit the frequency and duration of Medicaid behavioral health services and will reinstate prior authorization requirements for behavioral health services starting July 15. 

The Florida Medical Association, the state's largest physicians organization, told the publication that, in the next legislative session, it will push to reinstate telehealth expansions, including requiring commercial health insurers and managed-care offerings to pay the same amounts to providers whether they deliver care in person or via telehealth. 


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