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

Montana’s licensure requirements are similar to other states and require health care professionals to be licensed in Montana to provide you with telehealth services. Montana is a part of an interstate licensure compact, which makes it easier for you to obtain telemental services with both in-state and out-of-state providers.

Requirements for out-of-state treatment

Montana requires that out-of-state healthcare professionals are licensed in the state of Montana and that they enroll in Montana Healthcare Programs before they can provide you with telehealth services. Montana is a part of the Federation of State Medical Board’s (FSMB) Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which expedites the licensure process for doctors who have practices in other states but wish to provide telehealth services in Montana. Through this compact, you can have telemental appointments with therapists, psychiatrists, and other mental health providers across state lines. Montana also participates in a nursing compact.

Emergency licensure

Existing Montana law allows for any out-of-state doctor who is licensed in another state to practice in Montana without obtaining a Montana license during a declared emergency. The COVID-19 health emergency, which will be in effect until declared over by the governor, extends the expanded telemedicine capabilities, such as audio-only telephone and nonsecure app-based communication, to out-of-state providers also. The state also offered temporary permits for health care workers with inactive licenses.

II. What are the online prescribing regulations in Montana?

Montana telemedicine rules governing online prescribing dictate that you need to establish a doctor-patient relationship with your health care professional before any medications can be prescribed, but this can be done virtually as long as the standard of care doesn’t require an in-person first visit. Establishing the doctor-patient relationship includes obtaining a medical history sufficient enough for diagnosis, treatment, and prescribing of medications. The statute states that the standard of care for prescribing schedule II medications requires an in-person visit. Accepted telehealth communication includes live, two-way video and does not include audio-only telephone communication, email, or fax.

III. What are other common telehealth restrictions in Montana?

Montana only permits telehealth appointments that are real-time, two-way interactive video communication that is compliant with HIPAA security protocols. During the COVID-19 emergency period, telehealth has been expanded to audio-only telephone calls and less-secure means of electronic communication, including app-based video conferencing.

Types of telehealth services allowed

Montana allows reimbursement for live, two-way audio and video communication between you and your doctor as long as it’s through a secure HIPAA compliant connection. This includes store-and-forward services but doesn’t include remote monitoring. Montana doesn’t allow audio-only telephone calls, email, fax, and nonsecure app-based video calls for telehealth appointments.

Emergency allowances

During the COVID-19 emergency, Montana has expanded its legal restrictions on telemedicine to include audio-only telephone communication and other electronic media. Montana’s state of emergency will be in effect until the governor declares that it has ended, so there is no current expiration date of the emergency orders.

IV. Telehealth provider resources in Montana

To learn more about the latest telehealth regulations in Montana and to stay informed about updates in the COVID-19 health emergency and how it affects telehealth access, please refer to the following resources.

Montana Department of Health and Human Services

The Montana Department of Health and Human Services provides you with health-related information and updates about COVID-19. Its website has information on other useful topics that might affect your access to telehealth services.

Contact Information: Website | 406-444-5622

Montana Medicaid

Montana Medicaid is a resource for you to find information about applying for Medicaid and also explains eligibility requirements and what benefits you can expect with Medicaid coverage.

Contact Information: Website | 706-549-4850

Office of Montana State Auditor

The Office of Montana State Auditor and the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance has helpful information about COVID-19 updates and how insurance companies are expanding their telehealth services to ensure that you have safe access to health care. Statements from each of the four major health carriers are on the website and explain how they have made telehealth access more widely available during this health emergency.

Contact Information: Website | 406-444-2040

V. Sources