by Thomas B. Ferrante and Nathaniel M. Lacktman
On April 29, 2019, the Florida State Legislature passed HB 23, a law providing additional guidelines on the use of telehealth in the Sunshine State. The bill is now on its way to Governor DeSantis' desk where he is expected to sign it into law. The law cements the validity of telehealth services in Florida, establishes new telehealth practice standards, creates a registration process for out-of-state health care professionals to use telehealth to deliver health care services to Florida patients, and introduces less-than-ideal commercial reimbursement provisions.
Passage of the bill is due to the outstanding efforts of the Florida telehealth community, including the Florida Telehealth Advisory Council and its dedicated members. The 13-member Council held public meetings throughout 2017, conducted a research survey of Florida health plans, facilities, and providers, and ultimately completed a comprehensive report with recommendations to the Legislature for a telehealth bill.