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

Mississippi’s licensure requirements for telehealth care are consistent with the expanded access seen throughout the country. In Mississippi, professionals with in-state licensing can see patients via digital platforms, provided patients can receive the same level of care via a remote visit. When an in-state physician needs a consultation with another physician, a patient may be able to receive those services via telehealth, even if the consulting physician is not locally licensed.

Requirements for out-of-state treatment

Mississippi is not part of any compact with other states to provide care across state boundary lines. Since it requires all treating doctors and mental health professionals to be licensed in the state, there is no option for out-of-state telehealth mental health care. All providers that are licensed in the state can offer remote services within the state.

Emergency licensure

While Mississippi offers emergency licensing options when facing a public health crisis, there is no ongoing process for emergency licensing. However, health care providers are encouraged to seek out permanent licensing in Mississippi.

II. What are the online prescribing regulations in Mississippi?

In Mississippi, an examination is a required part of the process when prescribing medications. While patients may fill out questionnaires to guide providers on the type and scope of possible care needs, before writing a prescription, the doctor must establish a “physician-patient relationship,” which typically includes:

  • Verifying the identity of the patient
  • Obtaining a medical history and completing a physical exam
  • Using accepted standards to diagnose medical issues
  • Discussing any risks/benefits and obtaining informed consent to treatment
  • Ensuring the patient understands any needed follow-up care and how to obtain it
  • Inputting all data into an electronic medical record that can be made available to other providers

In general, when a doctor can perform a reasonable examination remotely for a specific illness or injury and prescribe the appropriate medication, it is consistent with practices as described by the Mississippi statute.

III. What are other common telehealth restrictions in Mississippi?

Mississippi defines telehealth services as treatment, diagnosis, or consultation through the use of interactive audio, video, or digital technology that is delivered in real time. Health care providers may not use email, audio-only telephone calls, or fax communications to provide care.

Types of telehealth services allowed

In Mississippi, health care providers receive equal reimbursement for all real time appointments provided using video, chat, and telephone services where the patient is also able to be examined. Mississippi does allow store-and-forward services but may not pay for the cost to transmit images between locations. Services such as remote patient monitoring are available under certain conditions. Some examples of covered patient monitoring devices include:

  • Implantable pacemakers
  • Defibrillators
  • Cardiac monitors

Types of providers allowed to offer telehealth services

In Mississippi, telehealth services can encompass any licensed health care provider that can offer the equivalent service through a remote platform. While all providers must be licensed to practice in the state of Mississippi, there are no other regulations that limit individual providers.

Emergency allowances

Mississippi has passed sweeping changes to existing telehealth regulations for use during emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, during the latest such temporary legislation, the state allowed patients to contact doctors using consumer-owned technology such as smartphones or computers without the need for a telepresenter, which would typically be required. These emergency expansions are temporary and not intended to become permanent.

IV. Telehealth provider resources in Mississippi

Accessing safe and effective telehealth services may not be as straightforward as it seems in Mississippi. Providers must meet HIPAA compliance standards and meet regulatory minimums. To find out more about the level of service you should expect, your available benefits, and how to access telehealth services, take a look at the following resources.

Mississippi Division of Medicaid

The Mississippi Division of Medicaid provides information on a variety of topics, including details about telehealth services, available benefits, and emergency expansions during public health crises. If you are enrolled or may qualify for Medicaid, this site offers information about coverage and how to access care, including applications and eligibility information.

Contact Information: Website | 800-421-2408

Mississippi Telehealth Association

The Mississippi Telehealth Association offers up-to-date information about telehealth standards and practices. It’s a go-to resource for both permanent and temporary policy changes related to telehealth, including any updates for COVID-19 coverage and service expansions.

Contact Information: Website | 601-255-2885

Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensing

While Mississippi doesn’t require providers to obtain any specialty licensing before offering telehealth services, it does maintain a list of all licensed doctors, nurses, and other health care specialists. You can use this site to check on the status of a doctor’s credentials and make sure they’re currently licensed.

Contact Information: Website| 601-987-3079

V. Sources