North Dakota Telemedicine Bill Passes Both Senate and House Votes

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Thursday, April 18, 2019

A telemedicine bill that was introduced in the North Dakota Senate has passed both the Senate and House. You can read the original alert for Senate Bill 2094 (SB 2094) here. SB 2094 is designed to expand and refine the existing laws on telemedicine by adding standards of care and ethics, introducing rules on prescribing and refining the definition of telemedicine. SB 2094 passed the Senate on January 25, and then it headed to the House. On April 4, it unanimously passed the House with amendment. The Senate declined to concur with the amendments so, the bill went to conference committee to reach an agreement. On April 17, the Senate approved the conference committee’s version of the bill. From here, SB 2094 will head to the governor’s desk for his signature.
SB 2094 would allow physician assistants to practice via telemedicine. Under the bill, when seeing a patient in North Dakota via telemedicine, the health professional would be practicing medicine in North Dakota no matter where they are located.
The standard of care for seeing patients through telemedicine is the same as if the care was given in-person, including demonstrating competence in the area of practice, forming a valid patient relationship, providing an adequate examination, maintaining records and making referrals if warranted.
Prescribing opioids via telemedicine is specifically prohibited unless it is part of an FDA-approved treatment for opioid use and requires that telemedicine prescribers comply with all North Dakota laws, including participation in the prescription drug monitoring program. Through amendments, some changes have been made to address fluoroscopy technicians. The full text of SB 2094 and its legislative position can be found on the state’s website.
It appears SB 2094 is very close to becoming law. If passed, it would provide a very solid and clear framework for health professionals to adopt practice through telemedicine technology.