FAQ on telemedicine and licensing during COVID
- I am an out-of-state physician who wants to provide telemedicine to a patient and Washington state. Can I do this? Yes, based on RCW 18.71.030(6). The WMC interprets that section of law to mean, a practitioner not licensed in Washington may provide medical care to a patient in Washington state if certain conditions are met. Read the 2018 WMC policy on Telemedicine and Continuity of Care for complete information. Another option would be to participate with your health care organizational efforts under the Washington Volunteer Emergency Practitioner act. Once validated into their system, the volunteer may practice as if they have a full Washington license.
- This advice seems to conflict with the WMC’s 2014 Telemedicine Guideline; what is the difference? The 2014 Telemedicine Guideline applies to those who seek to establish a practitioner/patient relationship and provide telemedicine services on a regular and continuing basis. Whereas, the 2018 policy on Telemedicine and Continuity of Care is more narrowly applied to those seeking to provide telemedicine services to existing patients.
- I am a Washington state physician who wants to provide telemedicine to a patient in a different state. Can I do this? There are no Washington laws or rules that would prevent this practice. However, this is dependent upon the telemedicine laws in the state where the patient is located.
- Is it a requirement to get an FBI background check before I can be licensed in Washington state? Yes, the WMC is legally required to ask for a background check. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic but we are aware that the offices required to process background checks are closed. The WMC will not prevent you from getting a license in order to get your background check first; but the we must have a background check completed before your first renewal.