Skip to content

Telehealth Regulations During COVID-19: What You Need to Know About State-by-State Changes

Payers, providers, and the state government are looking for ways to expand telehealth services in the United States.

Telehealth is a fundamental tool to ensure patients’ access to healthcare requirements.

Recently, the government has introduced quite some regulations related to telehealth services. We’ve gathered all the vital data for you to get everything in a post.

In this blog, we’ll discuss new developments in telehealth services at the state and federal levels.

Recent Federal Developments

Women’s Health Protection Act of 2023 (S.701) was introduced in the Senate on 8th March 2023. It was placed under Read the First Time on the Senate Legislative Calendar.

It was read the second time on 9th March 2023. It has progressed and was placed under General Orders on the Senate Legislative Calendar.

The proposed law, referred to as a “bill,” aims to prevent any restrictions on the ability of healthcare providers to offer telemedicine-based abortion services, as well as any limitations on a patient’s ability to receive these services, that are not imposed on other similar medical services offered via telemedicine.

In simpler terms, if this bill becomes law, healthcare providers would be allowed to provide telemedicine-based abortion services without facing any unique limitations or restrictions that do not apply to other comparable medical services provided through telemedicine.

Recent State-Level Developments

Several states have taken action recently in the wake of new covid-19 cases linked with the different variants.

In many states, the flexibility of using telehealth facilities is used as a temporary fixture for emergency declarations.

South Dakota

The government passed H.B. 1183 on 27th March 2023. This law is directly linked with the occupational therapy licensure compact. The government also altered some previous telehealth regulations made in 2020.

The Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact is an agreement among multiple states in the United States to recognize each other’s occupational therapy licenses. This means that if a state joins the Compact, occupational therapists and their assistants who are licensed (and in good standing in that state) can practice in other Compact member states without having to obtain additional licenses.

For example, if an occupational therapist is licensed in a Compact member state and wants to practice in another Compact member state, they can do so without having to go through the process of obtaining a new license in the other state. This makes it easier for occupational therapists and their assistants to work across state lines, which can be especially helpful for those who work in telehealth or in border areas where they may serve clients who live in neighboring states.

Overall, joining the Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact can benefit both occupational therapy professionals and the clients they serve by reducing administrative burdens and making it easier for professionals to provide care across state lines.


The state government passed three different bills on 15th March 2023:

1. H.B. 152

This law prohibits healthcare providers from using telemedicine to diagnose, treat, or prescribe drugs based solely on an online questionnaire, email message, or patient-generated medical history.

Telemedicine is a type of healthcare service that uses electronic communication technologies such as video conferencing, online chat, or email to provide remote medical consultations, diagnosis, and treatment.

This law is aimed at ensuring that patients receive safe and effective care and that healthcare providers have access to accurate and complete medical information before making any medical decisions.

Now, telemedicine consultations must include a thorough medical examination and assessment by a licensed healthcare provider, and drugs can only be prescribed after an in-person examination or appropriate diagnostic testing has been conducted.

2. H.B. 159

This law allows healthcare providers with a temporary license for telemedicine to offer telehealth services to patients located in Utah without requiring a Utah license.

As long as the provider holds a license from another state and providing the service does not violate state law.

This means that out-of-state providers who hold a temporary telemedicine license in Utah can provide telehealth services to patients in Utah without having to go through the process of obtaining a Utah medical license.

The law also requires the state to offer a temporary license to physicians who have applied for licensure by endorsement but their application cannot be processed within 15 days. This temporary license will enable the physician to provide telehealth services to patients in Utah while they are waiting for their full license to be processed.

Overall, the purpose of this law is to increase access to telehealth services for patients in Utah by allowing licensed healthcare providers to offer their services without being hindered by state licensing requirements.

3. H.B. 437

This law states that the Medicaid program must provide reimbursement for healthcare services that are delivered over the phone without any video component.

Patients who are unable to use video conferencing technology to connect with their healthcare providers can still receive care remotely via audio-only telehealth services, and the Medicaid program will cover the costs of those services.

This could be particularly beneficial for patients who live in rural areas or who have limited access to high-speed internet or video-capable devices.

Permanent State Laws and Statutes for Payment Parity

Payment parity is a policy that requires healthcare providers to receive the same amount of reimbursement for telehealth visits as they would for in-person visits.

A doctor or other health care provider who provides a telehealth consultation or service would receive the same payment as they would if they had provided the same service in person.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many states in the US implemented temporary payment parity policies in response to the increased use of telehealth due to lockdowns and social distancing measures.

As of March 2023, some states have implemented payment parity permanently.

21 states have implemented policies requiring payment parity, meaning that providers must be reimbursed the same amount for telehealth and in-person visits.

Six states have payment parity policies in place but with some limitations or exceptions, while 23 states have no payment parity policies at all.

Permanent State Laws and Statutes for Payment Parity

Deliver Quality Virtual Care Anywhere with Our Customizable Telemedicine App

Thank you for investing your time to read about our customizable telemedicine app, designed to be HIPAA-compliant.

We’re passionate about helping healthcare professionals and entrepreneurs deliver better care for all, and we’d love to work with you to create a solution that meets your unique needs.

Please connect with us today to learn more about our range of solutions and how we can help you streamline healthcare delivery and improve patient outcomes.

We look forward to the opportunity to work with you to create a great product together.