The Georgia Composite Medical Board has enacted regulations surrounding telemedicine care within the state, requiring patients to have an in-person examination before getting treatment through the technology.
The regulations, which establish the minimum requirements to practice telemedicine within the state, went into effect earlier this year in May. The two major restrictions are that the provider must have conducted an in-person treatment before caring for the patient through telemedicine and they must be licensed to practiced in Georgia. These two requirements are echoed in many other telemedicine guidelines, including standards set by the American Medical Association and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB).
There are three exceptions to the in-person visit requirement. Those exceptions allow for a straight to telemedicine treatment plan if the provider is able to examine the patient using technology and peripherals that equal in-person care; the provider is providing the care at the request of a licensed Georgia practitioner that has seen the patient; or the provider is providing care at the request of a Public Health Nurse, a Public School Nurse, the Department of Family and Children’s Services, law enforcement, community mental health center or through an established child advocacy center for the protection or a minor. In the last case, it also has to be equal treatment to an in-person visit.
Other requirements for telemedicine treatment include access to the patient's medical records at the time of evaluation, patient access to the provider's credentials, and the provider must make an effort to do an in-person follow-up within a year of the telemedicine encounter.