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

New Mexico’s licensure requirements state that every provider in New Mexico must be licensed by the appropriate licensing body. New Mexico also offers telemedicine licenses to physicians in other states who want to provide services to New Mexico residents. Out-of-state physicians undergo an extensive verification process to qualify for the special license.

Requirements for out-of-state treatment

New Mexico doesn’t belong to the Interstate Medical Compact or the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact. This means that many health professionals can’t treat out-of-state patients without obtaining additional licenses. However, New Mexico is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact, which means nurses can provide services in other member states without meeting additional licensure requirements.

Emergency licensure

New Mexico makes some allowances in emergency situations. For example, licensing requirements were relaxed during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that New Mexico residents could continue to access care. Executive Order 2020-004 states that the New Mexico Department of Health and the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management are authorized to credential any professional capable of providing necessary services during the pandemic. The order also extended the expiration date for temporary licenses.

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

In New Mexico, health care providers are permitted to engage in online prescribing without having an established physician-patient relationship if they’re providing telehealth services via live video. A physical exam isn’t necessary if such an exam wouldn’t be performed as part of a typical in-person encounter for the same service. For example, you wouldn’t need an exam if you were seeking online therapy for a mental health condition. If you have symptoms of a condition that would typically require a physical exam, then the telemedicine provider must conduct the exam or review your previous exam results.

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

In addition to the licensure requirements and online prescribing guidelines, New Mexico has some other telehealth restrictions you need to know. These restrictions relate to the types of telehealth services allowed and the technology used to deliver these services. In emergencies, the state may waive some of these restrictions.

Types of telehealth services allowed

In New Mexico, telehealth and telemental health service providers are allowed to deliver services via live video and store-and-forward technology. Store-and-forward refers to the sharing of information among providers. For example, when you have an X-ray at an outpatient diagnostic facility, your telehealth provider receives an X-ray report and may even receive a digital copy of the image. All live encounters must be delivered via video rather than audio-only technologies.

Types of providers allowed to offer telehealth services

Unlike many states, New Mexico doesn’t have any restrictions related to provider type. As long as they follow the licensure requirements and all other telehealth rules, doctors, psychiatrists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, therapists, and other qualified medical professionals are permitted to offer telehealth services. This includes providers who want to deliver behavioral health services, applied behavior analysis, and managed care services.

Emergency allowances

In New Mexico, providers are usually required to use face-to-face, synchronous technology (live video) to deliver telehealth and telemental health services. While the public health emergency order is in effect due to the COVID-19 pandemic, providers can deliver telehealth and telemental health services via telephone. Providers are also allowed to conduct assessments and manage patient care via telephone.

IV. Telehealth provider resources in New Mexico

Because New Mexico requires telemedicine services to be delivered via face-to-face technology, make sure your computer or mobile device meets the provider’s technical requirements before your scheduled appointment. Stay abreast of updates to the state telemedicine regulations by visiting the Center for Connected Health Policy website. Visit the resources below for additional information.

New Mexico Human Services Department

Centennial Care, New Mexico’s Medicaid program, covers a wide range of telemedicine services. If you don’t have private insurance, the New Mexico Human Services Department website has information to help you determine if you qualify for Centennial Care or other forms of assistance. The site also provides special programs for Native Americans, people with brain injuries, and residents with behavioral health conditions.

Contact Information: Website | 800-283-4465

New Mexico Medical Board

The New Mexico Medical Board is responsible for licensing physicians and physician assistants who want to practice in the state. If a licensed provider commits some type of infraction, the NMMB is also charged with investigating and taking appropriate disciplinary action, which may range from a formal reprimand to revocation of the provider’s license. If you need more information on a telehealth provider, use the NMMB website to find out if they’ve been involved in any disciplinary proceedings.

Contact Information: Website | 505-476-7220

Office of Superintendent of Insurance

The Office of Superintendent of Insurance handles complaints from New Mexico consumers regarding health, life, and other types of insurance coverage. If your insurance company doesn’t cover one of your telemedicine claims, an OSI representative can investigate and determine if the company has violated any of the provisions of your policy. OSI agents also investigate complaints regarding insurance fraud.

Contact Information: Website | 855-427-5674

V. Sources