Telehealth Services for Athletic Trainers
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The term “telehealth” means a health service delivered by a health professional to a client at a remote location through telecommunications or information technology.
Information technology includes computers, smart phones, and equipment, other than analog telephone, email or facsimile technology and equipment, used or capable of use for purposes of telecommunications.
Services You Can Provide
You can provide telehealth services that are within the scope of your Texas license. You must provide the same standard of care as you would for an in-person visit.
Athletic trainers must ensure that any services provided through telehealth comply with requirements that apply generally for athletic training. For example, as with all athletic training, any services provided through telehealth must be provided under the direction of a physician or other qualified, licensed health professional who is authorized to refer for health care services.
You must provide the client (or authorized representative) with information about how to obtain follow-up care, if applicable.
To prevent fraud and abuse when providing a telehealth service, you must take reasonable steps to verify that the identity of the client matches the person who is scheduled to receive the telehealth service.
If the clients receiving the services are located in Texas, then you must hold an appropriate Texas license.
It is critical to check with your payor before initiating a new type of service or service delivery model, such as telehealth, as policies frequently change. Licensees who need additional information on billing policies relating to the provision of telehealth services should contact the entity they are billing to verify that telehealth services are reimbursable, and that proper coding is used.
When providing telehealth services, you must meet each of the following requirements:
- If informed consent would be required for an in-person service, it must also be obtained when the service is provided via telehealth
- You must allow the client (or authorized representative) to refuse delivery of telehealth services at any time
Client Privacy and Confidentiality
When providing telehealth services, you must take appropriate measures to ensure that client communications, recordings, and records are protected as required by federal and state privacy laws.
You must also ensure that appropriate protocols are in place to prevent unauthorized access to client communications and claim information.
While providing telehealth services, you will be responsible for ensuring all persons acting under your supervision, direction, or delegated authority observe federal and state privacy laws.
Before providing telehealth services, you should verify the applicability of other requirements and obligations, such as HIPAA and other medical and personal privacy requirements.
Record Keeping Requirements
Documentation for a telehealth service must be completed to the same extent as would be required for an in-person service.
Any additional telehealth-related documentation must be maintained in accordance with applicable laws and rules governing your practice.
Relevant Laws and Rules
Telehealth Law for Texas Physicians, Dentists and Other Healthcare Professionals -- Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 111 -- Telemedicine, Teledentistry, and Telehealth.
Telehealth Law for TDLR Health Professions -- Texas Occupations Code 51.501 -- Telehealth
Telehealth Rules for TDLR Health Professions -- Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 100 -- General Provisions for Health-Related Programs in sections 100.61 - 100.65.