Georgia Passes Telemedicine License Law

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Monday, July 8, 2019

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has signed into law a bill allowing out-of-state health practitioners to see patients in Georgia; click here to review the text and history of Senate Bill 115 (SB 115). It allows physicians who are not licensed by the state of Georgia to provide medical services via telemedicine technologies to patients located in Georgia.
In order to provide services to Georgia patients, a physician must obtain a “telemedicine license” and hold an unrestricted license to practice medicine in another state. Physicians receiving these licenses must maintain records in accordance with Georgia laws, as well as inform the board if they are the subject of discipline or if their medical license has had any restriction placed on it. These licenses do not permit physicians to see patients in Georgia in the traditional sense—they are only permitted to practice remotely via telecommunication systems.
SB 115 is significant, as most states deem the practice of medicine to occur at the location where the patient is. Even with access to telemedicine technology, most patients are still limited to seeing their state’s doctors. By permitting the use of an out-of-state license, SB 115 greatly increases the pool of doctors available to see Georgia patients.
The general national trend in tele-health and telemedicine has been to treat them as tools to aid the traditional delivery of health services. They provide the public greater access and reduce costs related to seeking care. In that regard, SB 115 is in line with that trend and should greatly expand the number of people who may provide services to Georgia patients.
Although SB 115 became effective on July 1, the state medical board may still need to develop processes and procedures before they are able to implement the features of this law and issue licenses to out-of-state physicians.