Telemedicine (or telehealth) has definitions and provisions that can vary by state, but in Texas means: remote health care diagnoses and treatments from a provider or health care professional in one location, to a patient in another location. Telemedicine can be critical for patients who live in an area with a shortage of doctors or specialists.

                                                                                 Who can administer telemedicine?
Distant Site Providers – these providers can be physicians, physician’s assistants, or advanced practice nurses that are supervised by and operating under the authority of a physician. Distant site providers are subject to certain restrictions and regulatory measures both for the patient’s protection and their own. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Verifying the identity of the person requesting treatment;
  • Establishing a diagnosis through acceptable medical practices – the same evaluation and testing that would be required for an in-person consultation;
  • Discussion with the patient concerning the diagnosis and treatment options; and
  • Ensuring the availability of a distant site provider or coverage of the patient for appropriate follow-up care.

Where can telemedicine be provided?
A patient being seen for the first time by a distant site provider, or displaying a new condition, can only use telemedicine at an “established medical site.” An established medical site is one with qualified staff present and the proper medical technologies and equipment for the distant site provider to conduct an adequate physical evaluation and give a diagnosis.

For more information on regulations and process, review the sources at the bottom of this page.

[Source: Texas Administrative Code, Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 412, Subchapter G, Division 1, Rule §412.303]

[Source: Texas Medical Board – Telemedicine FAQs]
[Source: Texas Administrative Code, Title 22, Part 9, Chapter 174 – Telemedicine]