Patient Consent Guidelines for Telemedicine Services
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Informed consent for telemedicine-related services varies by state, and currently federal rules have allowed even more flexibility. As some providers consider providing telemedicine services in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and provide continuity of care, it is important, from a risk management standpoint, to obtain consent to provide those telemedicine services.
The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) provides an extensive list of what the patient should be informed of prior to or during the telemedicine visit. Some discussion points, as it relates to office policies/protocols, suggest you review the following:
- Scheduling and cancellation policies
- Protocols for contact between visits
- Prescribing policies (including local and federal regulations)
- Conditions where telemedicine should be terminated for in-person care
- Procedures for coordinating care
After you’ve discussed these issues, ask your patient to confirm understanding, and then document in the chart that verbal confirmation of understanding was given. When it comes to getting the consent form signed, e-signatures are acceptable.
Additionally, once you communicate your policies and protocols as with any clinical encounter — document, document, document!
For more information on this topic, view these resources: