West Virginia's new telemedicine practice standards & remote prescribing laws

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West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed into law, on March 24, a new bill (House Bill No. 4463) implementing a variety of telemedicine practice standards and remote prescribing rules in the state, according to a blog post from the law firm Foley & Lardner.

Effective June 11, the new statute may potentially require the Board of Medicine to rewrite some of its current telemedicine rules to the extent the prior rules conflict with the controlling provisions of the statute. Foley & Lardner write that the new statute delves into new definitions, licensure, second opinions, and telemedicine examinations.

West Virginia was the fifth state to enact the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact after the Governor signed the legislation into law last year. The Compact, which offers a streamlined licensing process for physicians interested in practicing medicine in multiple states, is expected to expand access to healthcare, especially to those in rural and underserved areas of the country, and facilitate new modes of healthcare delivery such as telemedicine. A number of state legislatures have introduced the model Compact legislation, bringing the total number of states that have introduced or enacted the legislation to 26.