Florida Telehealth Laws for Mental Health Counselors, Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists
By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
The Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling has published the following guidance regarding the provision of telehealth services.
As of October 11, 2021, it is still effective and is provided verbatim as follows:
(See more at: https://floridasmentalhealthprofessions.gov/latest-news/telehealth/)
During the 2019 legislative session, Florida passed section 456.47 Florida Statutes, which establishes standards of practice for telehealth services, including patient evaluations, and record-keeping. The law also authorizes out-of-state health care practitioners to perform telehealth services for patients in Florida. Signed by the Governor on June 25, 2019, this law became effective on July 1, 2019.
Out-of-State Health Care Practitioners.
Out-of-state health care practitioners must be registered with the Florida Department of Health to perform telehealth services for patients in Florida. The out-of-state telehealth provider registration is for health care practitioners licensed outside of Florida ONLY. Florida licensees can already provide telehealth services to patients in Florida that they can treat in person.
Pursuant to section 491.014(4)(d), Florida Statutes, you may practice under a limited basis without a license as specified below:
4) No person shall be required to be licensed, provisionally licensed, registered, or certified under this chapter who:
(d) Is not a resident of this state but offers services in this state, provided:
1. Such services are performed for no more than 15 days in any calendar year; and
2. Such nonresident is licensed or certified to practice the services provided by a state or territory of the United States or by a foreign country or province.
The Department has created a website that allows interested parties to review information about Florida telehealth, sign up for updates, and register to become an out-of-state telehealth provider. For more information, please visit www.flhealthsource.gov/telehealth. Information Regarding a Designated Registered Agent can be found here: https://floridasmentalhealthprofessions.gov/help-center/out-of-state-telehealth-provider-registration/.
For questions, contact the Telehealth Office at MQA.Telehealth@flhealth.gov.
If you would like to provide services to a client outside of the state of Florida, you must contact the board in the jurisdiction where the patient is located. Not all states permit telehealth service even under emergency circumstances.
Florida Registered Interns.
Pursuant to Rule 64B4-2.002, Florida Administrative Code, registered interns may provide face-to-face psychotherapy by electronic methods if the registered intern has a written telehealth protocol and safety plan in place with their current qualified supervisor which includes the provision that the qualified supervisor must be readily available during the electronic therapy session. Additionally, the registered intern and their qualified supervisor must have determined, through their professional judgment, that providing face-to-face psychotherapy by electronic methods is not detrimental to the patient, is necessary to protect the health, safety, or welfare of the patient, the registered intern, or both, and does not violate any existing statutes or regulations.
Qualified supervisors may utilize face-to-face electronic methods, including telephone only communication, to conduct all supervisory sessions for internship hours if the qualified supervisor determines, through their professional judgment, that such methods are not detrimental to the registered intern’s patients and are necessary to protect the health, safety, or welfare of the qualified supervisor, the registered intern, or both.
Any clinical hours obtained via face-to-face psychotherapy by electronic means shall be considered clinical hours for the purpose of meeting internship requirements.
For further information regarding the Florida telehealth guidelines, please click here.
Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced Investigations of Mental Health Counselors, Psychologists, Social Workers, and Family Therapists.
The attorneys of The Health Law Firm provide legal representation to mental health counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and family therapists in Department of Health (DOH) investigations, Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) investigations, board hearings, FBI investigations, and other types of investigations of health professionals and providers.
We also defend health professionals and health facilities in general litigation matters and business litigation matters.
To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or toll-free at (888) 331-6620 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.
“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of and a registered service mark of The Health Law Firm, P.A., a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2021 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.