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

Florida’s licensure requirements for telehealth mental care are similar to those for in-person care. Providers must have a license within their scope of practice to provide telehealth services. For physicians, this is a medical license from the Florida Board of Medicine.

Requirements for out-of-state treatment

Florida is not currently part of any multi-state compact allowing physicians to deliver interstate telehealth services.  However, Florida does belong to the Nurse Licensure Compact, which allows nurses in Florida to provide telehealth services across state lines.

Emergency licensure

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Florida Board of Medicine currently allows out-of-state providers to apply to provide telehealth services to Florida residents. Out-of-state providers are only approved to practice in Florida if they complete an application, have an active medical license in another state, have a registered agent in Florida, and have a clean license record with no active investigations or disciplinary actions within the five years prior to applying.

II. What are the online prescribing regulations in Florida?

In Florida, telehealth providers are permitted to prescribe medications if the medications aren’t listed as controlled substances. However, there is one important exception to this rule: If you need a controlled substance to manage a psychiatric condition, your telehealth provider is allowed to prescribe it.

Before prescribing medication, your telehealth provider must conduct an evaluation and explain the risks and benefits of the medication to you. Filling out a questionnaire before your telehealth appointment isn’t enough to satisfy the evaluation requirement, so you should expect the provider to ask multiple questions about your symptoms and health history.

III. What are other common telehealth restrictions in Florida?

In addition to the licensing requirements and restrictions on online prescribing, Florida’s telehealth regulations limit the types of telehealth services allowed and the types of providers who can offer those services. Occasionally, Florida makes exceptions to ensure that residents can get the care they need in the midst of a statewide emergency.

Types of telehealth services allowed

Florida health care providers are allowed to deliver a wide range of services via telehealth platforms. If you need mental health care, these services include psychiatric evaluations, behavioral health examinations, reviews of records, and functional assessments. Health care providers may also assess, diagnose, and monitor patients, develop treatment plans, educate patients on health topics, and transfer medical data. To deliver these services via telemedicine, the provider must use two-way, live video.

Types of providers allowed to provide telehealth services

All providers who are licensed within their scope of practice may deliver telehealth services to Florida patients, including mental health care. Physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants are permitted to provide care for acute and chronic medical conditions. Psychologists, therapists, and other providers can offer telehealth services to patients who need help managing depression, bipolar disorder, and other behavioral health conditions.

Emergency allowances

Florida has relaxed several requirements for telehealth providers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The state now allows out-of-state counselors, social workers, therapists, and psychologists to provide telehealth services to Florida residents as long as they complete an application and have an unrestricted license. Out-of-state providers must meet all other Florida telehealth requirements regarding their practice.

IV. Telehealth provider resources in Florida

For more information on the latest telehealth laws and regulations, or to determine how to access telehealth services in your area, visit the following resources. Some of these sources also include important information on using secure technology when you receive your telehealth service.

Florida Board of Medicine

The Florida Board of Medicine provides information on licensing requirements for physicians and physician assistants in Florida. You can also use the website to verify if a provider has an active license in good standing and submit complaints regarding physicians and physician assistants.

Contact Information: Website | 850-488-0595

Florida Board of Nursing

The Florida Board of Nursing provides licensing information for registered nurses and nurse practitioners. The Board’s site also has information regarding the license compact allowing nurses from other states to provide telehealth services for Florida residents. The website also has a license verification tool to ensure you’re receiving care from a licensed professional.

Contact Information: Website | 850-488-0595

Florida Telehealth

The Florida Department of Health established the official Florida Telehealth Source due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The site allows access to applicable telehealth forms and applications, the ability to verify licenses, and an FAQ section. You can also sign up for email updates to receive the latest information regarding Telehealth laws.

Contact Information: Website|850-245-4444

V. Sources