Doctor using a mobile phone to conduct a telehealth visit
Doctor using a mobile phone to conduct a telehealth visit
Doctor using a mobile phone to conduct a telehealth visit

Navigating Telehealth Across State Lines: A Comprehensive Guide for MDs & DOs

A patchwork of regulations exists across the US. Each state defines its own telehealth requirements. Learn more from Chuck Kable, Esq.

By: Chuck Kable, JD

Published: May 20, 2024

📂 Legal Education

Written for:

✅ Early Career Physicians

✅ Mid Career Physicians

✅ Established Professionals

The world of medicine is rapidly embracing telehealth, but venturing into interstate telehealth introduces a complex web of legal and regulatory hurdles for MDs and DOs. This comprehensive guide delves deep into the intricacies of practicing telehealth across state lines, empowering you with the knowledge and resources to navigate this evolving landscape with confidence.

Understanding the Roadblocks

Physician Licensure: The traditional requirement of a medical license in the patient's state can be a significant barrier. This restricts your ability to see patients residing in different states unless you have the appropriate licenses. Understanding Your Leverage as a New Attending

State-by-State Variations: A patchwork of regulations exists across the US. Each state defines its own telehealth requirements, encompassing:

  • Licensing: Full license, temporary license, or specific telehealth license requirements may vary by state.

  • Technology Standards: Specific technology platforms or functionalities might be mandated by some states.

  • Privacy Protocols: Compliance with HIPAA is essential, but some states might have additional data security requirements for telehealth platforms.

  • Reimbursement Policies: Understanding how different states reimburse telehealth services is crucial for ensuring proper payment for your services. Navigating the Financial and Legal Labyrinth: A Guide for Physician Spouses and Partners

The Evolving Landscape and Opportunities

Increased Flexibility: The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated telehealth adoption. Many states enacted temporary waivers or adopted permanent regulations fostering more flexibility for interstate consultations. Exploring New Opportunities as Physician

National Efforts: The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) and other initiatives aim to establish national standards for telehealth licensure, potentially streamlining the process for MDs and DOs to practice across state lines.

Essential Considerations for MDs & DOs

Patient Location Verification: Before each telehealth appointment, confirm the patient's physical location during the consultation. This ensures compliance with the regulations of the state where the patient is receiving care. The Importance of Simplifying Your Financial Accounts

State-Specific Licensing: Research the specific licensing requirements for telehealth in each state where your patients reside. This might involve consulting the FSMB physician licensure lookup tool ( and directly contacting state medical boards for the latest information.

Strategic Approaches for Expanding Your Telehealth Reach

Targeted Licensing: If you plan to serve a large patient base across specific states, consider obtaining a full medical license in good standing in those states. However, be aware of the time and financial investment involved in maintaining multiple licenses.

Telehealth Platforms: Choose a HIPAA-compliant telehealth platform that meets the technological standards mandated by the states you plan to serve. Research additional security features to ensure patient privacy is always protected. Legal Strategies for Mid-Career Physicians: Contracts, Partnerships, and Expansions

Malpractice Insurance Coverage: Verify that your malpractice insurance explicitly extends to telehealth services you provide across state lines. Guide to Disability Insurance for Physicians in 2024

Actionable Resources for MDs & DOs

  • The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB): ( This resource provides a physician licensure lookup tool and valuable information on telehealth regulations across states.

  • The American Telemedicine Association (ATA): ( The ATA offers resources and guidance specifically tailored for telehealth providers, including legal and regulatory considerations for interstate telehealth practice.

  • State Medical Board Websites: Each state medical board website often has a dedicated section outlining telehealth regulations and licensing requirements. Regularly monitor these websites for updates on changing regulations.

  • Legal Consultation: Consulting with an attorney specializing in healthcare law is highly recommended. An attorney can provide tailored advice to ensure you're fully compliant with all relevant regulations for telehealth across state lines. Integrating Essential Financial Literacy into Residency Programs

The Future of Borderless Care

The future of telehealth across state lines is promising. With ongoing efforts for national standards and increasing patient demand for convenient healthcare access, MDs and DOs can expect a more streamlined landscape for leveraging telehealth and expanding the reach of their medical expertise.

Remember: Legal compliance is paramount. By prioritizing these considerations and utilizing the resources provided, you can confidently position yourself to deliver high-quality healthcare through telehealth, even across state borders. Andwise Empowering Financial Well-Being for Physicians

Ready to take the next step? From Resident to Practicing Physician: Understanding Employment Contracts

With Chuck Kable, JD 🟢

1. Book Your Session

2. Unpack Employment Contracts

3. Secure Favorable Contract Terms

Choose a Time 🚀

Mastering Your First Employment Agreement: Tailored for newly graduated doctors about to sign their first employment contracts, emphasizing understanding over negotiation.

As you transition from medical school and residency to your first position as a practicing physician, navigating employment contracts is crucial. This session delves into the essentials of employment agreements, focusing on clauses such as non-compete, compensation structures, and malpractice insurance implications. Equip yourself with the knowledge to take control of your career.  Learn not just what your contract means, but how to manage it and your new employer to set yourself up for maximum flexibility with minimum hassle.

Disclaimer: This educational session provides general information on employment contracts in healthcare and is not intended to substitute for professional legal advice. No attorney-client relationship will be created by attending this session. Consult a licensed attorney for advice on specific legal issues.

Read more by Chuck Kable, JD

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