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I. What are the licensure requirements in Delaware for telehealth mental health care?

Delaware licensure requirements stipulate that any health care professional licensed in the state of Delaware can provide you with telemedicine or teletherapy services provided you have established a physician-patient relationship. You can set up this relationship either in-person or via live synchronous video. You must also have given the physician written informed consent.

Requirements for out-of-state treatment

Although Delaware is not currently a member of the Interstate Licensure Medical Compact, out-of-state physicians can provide telehealth care in certain situations. In these cases, the provider must be licensed in their jurisdiction, be enrolled in a DE Medicaid Managed Care Organization or the DE Medicaid Program, be located within the lower 48 states, and have established a physician-patient relationship with you.

Emergency licensure

In March 2020, Gov. John Carney issued an emergency order to permit health care professionals in other states who have active licenses and are in good standing to provide in-person, telemedicine, and telemental health services to residents of Delaware. These measures will remain in effect during the duration of the emergency order.

II. What are the online prescribing regulations in Delaware?

A Delaware health care provider cannot prescribe medications online without first having established a physician-patient relationship. This means an online site cannot prescribe you medication if they do not already have a relationship with you. If a prior relationship exists, a health care professional can provide you with medication, including controlled substances, without an in-person examination.

III. What are other common telehealth restrictions in Delaware?

Current law in Delaware only allows telemedicine to be performed through live video chats. For instance, Delaware law does not allow the use of audio-only communications to establish a prior relationship with doctors. This means that health care providers cannot use a phone call to establish a relationship with you.

Types of telehealth services allowed

The Delaware Medical Assistance Program (DMAP), Delaware’s Medicaid program, will reimburse certain health care providers at designated locations. However, this is only the case for live video service. DMAP does not reimburse health care providers for store-and-forward procedures (including transmitting X-rays, charts, or MRIs). There is also no reference in Delaware law regarding reimbursing health care providers for remote patient monitoring.

Types of providers allowed to offer telehealth services

The following health care providers can practice telemedicine under regular Delaware law. (Under the parity law enacted in 2018, private payers also need to reimburse for telehealth services with the following providers).

  • Physician (any individual licensed in Delaware as a medical doctor, including psychiatrists)
  • Physician assistant (under the physician’s supervision)
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Nurse midwife
  • Psychologist
  • Professional Counselor of Mental Health
  • Clinical social worker
  • Audiologists
  • Speech-Language therapists

Emergency allowances

Under Gov. Carney’s emergency order in response to COVID-19, any health care provider can deliver telemedicine if they remain within the scope of their practice. An out-of-state health care provider can use telemedicine to treat you, provided they are licensed in their jurisdiction and located in the continental United States. If any telemedicine provider wishes to be reimbursed by the state’s Medicaid program, they must be enrolled in, or in the process of enrolling in, DMAP.

IV. Telehealth provider resources in Delaware

Telehealth in Delaware is an evolving process. Last year’s emergency orders from the governor have accelerated the pace at which telehealth is used. Here are some resources that you can use to find up-to-date telehealth measures and regulations in the state.

The Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center – Delaware

The Resource Center’s goal is to promote the advancement and adoption of telehealth in Delaware and seven other states. It encourages physicians to incorporate telehealth within their practices. It also encourages the use of telehealth in various locations such as health care offices and remote facilities using both live video and store-and-forward technologies.

Contact Information: Website | (434) 924-0000

CCHP Current State Laws and Reimbursement Policies – Delaware

This site presents a constantly updated overview of regular and COVID-19 telehealth policies across the United States, including Delaware. Health care providers and organizations can email or call the center to get more details on current telehealth policies.

Contact Information: Website  | (877) 707-7172

Delaware Telehealth Coalition

The Delaware Telehealth Coalition (DTC) advocates for the expansion of telehealth services across Delaware. The DTC site includes information and resources concerning standard telehealth regulations in Delaware and those in place because of COVID-19. Interested individuals and organizations can sign up to receive emails about the advancement of telehealth measures in Delaware and the organization’s upcoming meetings.

Contact Information: Website | 302-255-9137

V. Sources