Illinois Telemedicine Policy

Telemedicine in Illinois: Policies

Illinois permanently expands access to telehealth Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill into law mandating coverage parity for virtual mental health and substance use disorder services.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill this past week that expands access to virtual care throughout the state.

The bill, HB 3308, requires insurance reimbursement parity for virtual mental health and substance use disorder services, as well as authorizing all other telehealth to be covered through 2027.

“The legislation I’ll sign today will solidify Illinois as a leader in telehealth access and expansion in the nation,” said Pritzker in a statement. “Illinois is now one of the first states in the nation to turn our emergency pandemic response into a permanent reality.

Who can practice telemedicine according to Illinois telemedicine law?

A healthcare professional who wants to treat patients in Illinois needs to be licensed or otherwise authorized to practice in the state. The Act doesn’t delve deeper into explaining how out-of-state providers can get the authorization to practice telehealth in Illinois.

The law mandates that medical professionals need to adhere to the standards of practice for in-person care. They mustn’t provide services outside of their scope of practice. The bottom line is—healthcare providers must act in accordance with their medical licensing as they would during in-person appointments.

The list of professionals that can practice telehealth in Illinois is extensive, and it includes:

  • Physicians
  • Physician assistants
  • Optometrists
  • Dentists
  • Advanced practice registered nurses
  • Clinical psychologists licensed in Illinois
  • Occupational therapists
  • Prescribing psychologists licensed in Illinois
  • Pharmacists
  • Clinical social workers
  • Physical therapists
  • Speech-language pathologists
  • Audiologists
  • Hearing instrument dispensers
  • Mental health professionals and clinicians authorized by Illinois law to provide mental health services

Cross-state licensing for telehealth in Illinois

Telehealth practice in the state is not limited to Illinois-based providers. The great news for out-of-state practitioners who wish to provide telehealth services in Illinois is that the state is a member of two interstate medical alliances:

  1. Interstate Medical Licensure Compact
  2. Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact

The state’s membership with these two compacts makes it easier for both physical and mental health professionals to obtain the authorization to practice telemedicine in Illinois.

The providers holding one of the two interstate licenses must abide by the same rules and regulations as Illinois-based practitioners when providing telehealth services to Illinoisians.

Online prescription requirements

Illinois law doesn’t provide any regulation on issuing online prescriptions through telemedicine. Whether or not you should prescribe medication online to your patients is up to your interpretation. This doesn’t mean you should take the lack of regulation as a green light to administer any drug to anyone. The Telehealth Act still obliges you to uphold the standards for in-person patient care.

With some conditions, it’s better to see a patient before you prescribe them medication. You should be especially careful regarding controlled substances.

Obtaining patient consent

The law doesn’t say anything about patient consent. As you are not legally obligated to obtain it, you can start a telemedicine session without worrying about it.

Even though Illinois law doesn’t mandate getting informed consent, it is still advisable to do so. On the federal level, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) obliges you to keep your patient data private and secure.

Telemedicine platforms often come with the risk of data breaches, and it would be reasonable to inform your patients about this issue. This is also why choosing the right platform for online patient care is essential. Instead of going for a consumer app that comes with many risks, you should opt for a healthcare-specific, 100% HIPAA compliant one, such as Curogram. Our platform has all the technical safeguards in place to ensure all protected health information (PHI) you exchange with your patients is safe.

State Policy Overview

  • Medicaid
  • Private Payers
  • Parity