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Posted by: Becky Sanders on Monday, July 3, 2017

Two new laws with telehealth components took effect on July 1, 2017 in the state of Indiana.

House Enrolled Act 1337 removes the 20 mile distance limitation for Indiana Medicaid Telemedicine Reimbursement for all providers. Previously, only Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rural Health Clinics, Critical Access Hospitals and Community Mental Health Centers were exempt. This bill also adds podiatrist to the definition of "prescriber" for purposes of telemedicine services.

This bill also removes the limitation on prescribing controlled substances via telemedicine except for opioids through the use of telemedicine if:

(1) the prescriber maintains a controlled substance registration;

(2) the prescriber meets federal requirements concerning the prescribing of the controlled substance;

(3) the patient has been examined in person by a licensed Indiana health care provider that has established a treatment plan to assist the prescriber in the diagnosis of the patient;

(4) the prescriber has reviewed and approved the treatment plan and is prescribing for the patient pursuant to the treatment plan; and

(5) the prescriber complies with the requirements of the INSPECT program. Allows for the prescribing of an opioid using telemedicine services if the opioid being prescribed is a partial agonist being prescribed to treat or manage an opioid dependence.

Additionally, this bill requires a telemedicine services prescriber to contact the patient's primary care provider if the telemedicine services prescriber has provided care to the patient at least two consecutive times through the use of telemedicine services.

House Enrolled Act 1540 allows the state health commissioner or a designated public health authority who is a licensed prescriber to issue a statewide standing order, prescription, or protocol that allows a pharmacist to administer or dispense a smoking cessation product. The bill also adds the following immunizations to the list of immunizations that pharmacists may administer if certain conditions are met: (1) Measles, mumps, and rubella. (2) Varicella. (3) Hepatitis A. (4) Hepatitis B. (5) Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). Allows a pharmacist to administer pneumonia immunizations to individuals who are at least 50 years of age. Pharmacists are now required to comply with the public health emergency consent requirements for immunizations administered during a public health emergency. Authorizes a pharmacist to administer immunizations under a standing order, prescription, or protocol of the state health commissioner.

"Patient Care", "Remote Dispensing Facilities" and "Telepharmacy" all have been defined for purposes of the laws concerning remote dispensing facilities. Along those lines, there is now a registration process for pharmacy remote dispensing facilities and sets forth requirements for the registration.

NOTE: This registration process allows for telepharmacy in the state of Indiana

Additional components of this bill require a health insurance policy and a health maintenance organization contract that provide coverage for prescription medications must provide for synchronized refill schedule coordination for prescription medications for chronic conditions.  



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