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Alaska Telehealth

November 11, 2020

General Telehealth Law

Alaska healthcare providers must register with the Telemedicine Business Registry in order to serve Alaskans through telehealth. 

Physical Therapy

The purpose of this section is to establish standards for the practice of telerehabilitation by means of an interactive telecommunication system by a licensed physical therapist in order to provide physical therapy to patients who are located at distant sites in the state which are not in close proximity of a physical therapist.

A physical therapist conducting telerehabilitation by means of an interactive telecommunication system

  • Must interact with the patient maintaining the same ethical conduct and integrity;
  • Must comply with the requirements of 12 AAC 54.510 for any licensed physical therapist assistant providing services;
  • May conduct one-on-one consultations, including initial evaluation, under this section; and
  • Must provide and ensure appropriate client confidentiality and HIPAA compliance, establish secure connections, activate firewalls, and encrypt confidential information.

Reference

12 AAC 54.530

Occupational Therapy

The purpose of this section is to establish standards for the practice of telerehabilitation by means of an interactive telecommunication system by a licensed occupational therapist in order to provide occupational therapy to patients who are located at distant sites in the state which are not in close proximity of an occupational therapist.

An occupational therapist licensed under AS 08.84 and this chapter conducting telerehabilitation by means of an interactive telecommunication system

  • Must interact with the patient maintaining the same ethical conduct and integrity;
  • Must comply with the requirements of 12 AAC 54.810 for any licensed occupational therapist assistant providing services;
  • May conduct one-on-one consultations, including initial evaluation, under this section; and
  • Must provide and ensure appropriate client confidentiality and HIPAA compliance, establish secure connections, activate firewalls, and encrypt confidential information.

Reference

12 AAC 54.825

Speech Therapy

A person who is licensed or registered under AS 08.11 may provide telemedicine services to a client in the state if:

    • The telemedicine services are of the same scope, nature, and quality as those services provided in person;
    • The quality of electronic transmissions used to provide telemedicine services allow the licensee or registrant to provide services equivalent to those provided in person;
    • The licensee or registrant has the skill and ability to operate equipment used to provide telemedicine services;
    • The licensee or registrant assesses the client’s level of comfort in receiving telemedicine services and makes appropriate adjustments to the treatment plan based on that assessment;
    • The licensee or registrant ensures the presence of telemedicine facilitator who is physically present with the client, when appropriate;
    • The licensee or registrant ensures that the client can contact a licensed health care provider in person as part of the client’s treatment plan;
    • The licensee or registrant ensures that the electronic transmissions used to provide telemedicine services have sufficient security to ensure the protection of the client’s medical records as if the client were receiving in-person treatment; and
    • The licensee or registrant does not provide telemedicine services solely through written correspondence; however, written correspondence may be used to supplement telemedicine services.

The rule does not prevent the use of asynchronous telemedicine.

Informed Consent

A licensee or registrant who provides telemedicine services shall document the efforts to obtain the client’s consent to send all records to the client’s primary care provider, if the licensee or registrant is not the client’s primary care provider.

If a client provides consent, the licensee or registrant who provides telemedicine services shall obtain that consent in writing signed by the client or the client’s legal guardian

Reference

12 AAC 07.020

12 AAC 07.030

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