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  • Washington Highlights

    VA Issues Proposed Rule to Expand Telehealth

    Ivy Baer, Senior Director and Regulatory Counsel

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Oct. 2 issued for public comment a proposed rule that would allow VA health care providers to provide care through the use of telehealth to individuals located in a different state from the provider, regardless of any state laws, rules, licensure, registration, or certification requirements to the contrary.

    According to the VA, if implemented, this proposal would help ensure that all beneficiaries, including those in remote, rural, or medically underserved areas have access to mental health care, specialty care, and general clinical care. It also would help the VA address recruitment shortages in some parts of the country.

    The proposed rule would not allow VA providers to go beyond the scope of the state license they hold. The rule relies on the pre-emption of state law by Federal law. The VA states that the prescribing limitations of the Controlled Substances Act would continue to apply.