Many health care professionals offering telemedicine services in the State of Washington are required to complete telemedicine training by June 2021.
The state indicates that “the purpose of the requirement is to inform practitioners of telemedicine definitions, regulations, and best practices. The Washington State Telehealth Collaborative has created and made publicly available a Washington State Telehealth Training to ensure all health care professionals can fulfill this requirement.”
Here, learn what qualifies as telemedicine, how to complete the training, and how to stay compliant with changing provider regulations.
Who Must Complete Telemedicine Training?
Health care professionals who perform telemedicine services in Washington must complete telehealth training. Health care professional is defined as, “a person licensed, registered, or certified to provide health services,” according to Senate Bill (SB) 6061.
Physicians and osteopathic physicians are excluded from the requirement. However, the Washington State Telehealth Collaborative encourages physicians to complete the training as well.
What Qualifies as Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is defined as, “the delivery of health care services through the use of interactive audio and video technology, permitting real-time communication between the patient at the originating site and the practitioner, for the purpose of diagnosis, consultation, or treatment. Telemedicine doesn’t include the use of audio-only telephone, facsimile, or email,” according to Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 70.41.020.
How to Complete Telemedicine Training
To fulfill state requirements, practitioners can complete a training provided by:
Practitioners must complete telemedicine training by June 2021 to continue providing telemedicine services under SB 6061 and remain compliant with state guidance. Failure to comply with this request may result in denial of telemedicine services.
Keep the Training Certificate
Practitioners must have a certification that proves they’ve completed the training. Every health system or organization is also responsible for tracking and documenting this requirement for their health care professionals.
Health organizations that provide their own training, or what the state calls alternative training, must demonstrate proof of:
- Training attestation
- Sign-in sheet
- Completion of the training, as evidence by the State of Washington
Publicly Available Telemedicine Trainings
For Medical Health Care Professionals
Medical health care professionals can take the Washington State Healthcare Professional Telemedicine Training provided by the NRTRC, which takes about 30–45 minutes.
For Behavioral Health Care Professionals
Behavioral health professionals have an online, self-guided TeleBehavioral Health 101 Training. The six-part series is available for free, and it’s provided by the University of Washington’s Behavioral Health Institute in partnership with the Telehealth Collaborative.
Providers are encouraged to take all six courses in the series, but completion of the first course will meet the evidence requirement for Washington state.
Will Telemedicine Requirements Change?
A number of questions remain about how practitioners can continue to utilize telemedicine after the public health emergency, how telemedicine will impact revenue, and how telemedicine services will continue to evolve in the future.
To stay up to date, practitioners should continue to frequently monitor guidance posted on the telehealth.hhs.gov website, which is supported by US Health and Human Services (HHS) and Human Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for clarifications and timing updates.
We’re Here to Help
If you have questions about how to stay compliant, how to use telemedicine in your practice, or telemedicine’s potential impacts on your revenue, contact your Moss Adams professional.