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

New Jersey’s licensure requirements dictate that any health professional who provides telehealth services, including online therapy, must have a valid professional license. For doctors, that means a license issued by the State Board of Medical Examiners. Drug and alcohol counselors, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors must be licensed by the State Board of Marriage and Family Therapy Examiners or the Professional Counselor Examiners Committee.

Requirements for out-of-state treatment

New Jersey isn’t a member of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, but legislation has been introduced to ensure it eventually becomes a participating state. The Nurse Licensure Compact has been partially implemented as of May 2021. Legislation is also pending to add New Jersey to PSYPACT, a licensure compact for psychology professionals. Because the state doesn’t belong to any of the major licensure compacts, medical professionals can’t treat people across state lines without obtaining additional licenses.

Emergency licensure

The Division of Consumer Affairs has waived some requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, patients typically need to be within the state’s borders to receive telehealth services from a medical professional licensed in New Jersey. DCA waived this requirement to ensure people would have timely access to health care for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. Officials may waive this requirement again in the future if they are concerned about residents’ access to medical care.

II. What are the online prescribing regulations in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, health care providers with appropriate prescribing authority are allowed to engage in online prescribing for most drugs, including antibiotics, antivirals, prescription-strength NSAIDs, and oral contraceptives. The main exception is for Schedule II controlled substances. To prescribe these, a telemedicine provider must conduct an in-person examination first, except when prescribing for a minor. To prescribe a Schedule II controlled substance to a minor without conducting an exam, the telemedicine provider must obtain consent from the patient’s parent or guardian.

III. What are other common telehealth restrictions in New Jersey?

New Jersey has several other restrictions you need to know about if you’re going to receive telehealth services. These restrictions cover the types of services allowed, minimum provider qualifications, and emergency allowances related to public emergencies.

Types of telehealth services allowed

Providers must conduct patient encounters via two-way technology, which allows you and the provider to see and hear each other at all times. Providers are also permitted to use store-and-forward technology to manage your care. For example, your doctor may use store-and-forward technology to review the results of recent lab tests and determine if you need additional tests before a diagnosis can be made.

Types of providers allowed to offer telehealth services

New Jersey doesn’t have any restrictions related to the types of providers allowed to deliver telehealth services. As long as your provider has the appropriate license, you can receive telehealth services from doctors, nurse practitioners, professional counselors, therapists, and other health care professionals. Although there are no restrictions on provider type, not all providers offer telehealth services.

Emergency allowances

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several state agencies have waived their normal requirements to ensure that New Jersey residents have access to quality care. For example, the Division of Consumer Affairs waived the requirement for providers to use two-way technology for all patient encounters. If your provider doesn’t have live video capability, you can have telemedicine appointments over the phone until the public health emergency ends. DCA has also waived requirements related to the review of patient health histories and medical records prior to an initial telemedicine encounter.

IV. Telehealth provider resources in New Jersey

New Jersey Board of Nursing

In New Jersey, all registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and nurse practitioners must meet licensing and continuing education requirements set by the New Jersey State Board of Nursing. The NJSBN website is an excellent resource if you need to verify that a nursing professional has an active license or has been subject to formal discipline. To verify a license, enter the person’s last name and click the Search button.

Contact Information: Website | 973-504-6430

New Jersey Department of Banking & Insurance

The New Jersey Department of Banking & Insurance issues licenses to and oversees banks and insurance companies operating within the state. Specifically, the Health Bureau reviews all forms issued by private insurance plans and Medicare supplements. If you have trouble getting your insurance company to cover teletherapy or any other telemedicine services, contact the New Jersey Department of Banking & Insurance for assistance. You can also file a complaint directly by filling out a form on the agency’s website.

Contact Information: Website | 800-446-7467

New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners

The State Board of Medical Examiners is responsible for issuing licenses to medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, certified nurse midwives, and podiatrists. If you’re looking for a medical professional to provide telehealth services, visit the SBME website to look up providers and verify that their licenses are in good standing. You can also use the website to check for disciplinary actions or file a complaint against a health care provider licensed in New Jersey.

Contact Information: Website | 609-826-7100

V. Sources