On September 24, 1996, Governor Pete Wilson signed into law the Telemedicine Development Act of 1996 (SB 1665), which will require the Medi-Cal program, as well as private insurers, to establish a reimbursement policy for telemedicine consultations by July 1, 1997. Additionally, the act: enables out-of-state physicians to consult with patients in California without a California license as long as they are not acting as the primary care physician; clarifies that all medical information transmitted electronically becomes part of the patient's medical record; and requires physicians to obtain the patient's verbal and written consent prior to the delivery of telemedicine services. With the "Comprehensive Telehealth Act of 1996," a senate bill to provide payment by Medicare for telehealth services, still pending in Congress, CA's mandated reimbursement makes it, according to a November 26th article in the New York Times, "the most comprehensive support of telemedicine to date."
On January 1, 1997, Colorado will become the first state in the nation to issue only a real estate broker license and not a real estate salesperson license, according to the Colorado Real Estate News. The law, signed by Gov. Roy Romer (D) in April, toughens the requirements real estate professionals must meet by strengthening broker supervision requirements and increasing individual responsibility.
The law stems from a state Real Estate Commission finding that the "public deserves the benefits of a real estate broker who is better educated and more experienced while acknowledging that modern real estate brokers need more flexibility in the manner in which their business is conducted," the News said.
The law has prompted several other states to follow suit and toughen licensing requirements for real estate professionals. Two months after Colorado's decision, the state of Washington ruled all real estate appraisers who conduct appraisals for compensation must now be licensed. (source: NOCA Professional Regulation News, Sept. & Nov. 1996)
The Florida legislature took a hard line against agency rulemaking when it passed a new APA this past April, which went into effect on October 1 of this year. The new APA states that "no agency shall have the authority to adopt a rule only because it is reasonably related to the purpose of the enabling legislation and is not arbitrary and capricious, nor shall an agency have the authority to implement statutory provisions setting forth general legislative intent or policy." It also requires legislative review of all existing rules exceeding this authorization, which are to be amended or repealed by 1999. Although agency rulemaking will be hindered by the act, it will not be impossible; the statute retains a controversial section requiring agencies to use rulemaking when making statements of general applicability and future effect, to the extent this is "feasible and practicable." The bill is the result of an Administrative Procedure Act Review Commission, which was appointed by Governor Lawton Chiles last summer following his veto of an APA-reform bill. (source: Administrative and Regulatory Law News, Summer 1996, Vol. 21, No. 4)
As of September 10, 1996, certified registered nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse-midwives, and certified nurse practitioners will be regulated in the state of Ohio. Besides being a registered nurse, the bill requires practitioners of these specialties to meet certain supervision, collaboration, education and examination requirements. Supervison applies only to certified registered nurse anesthetists: the nurse must be in the immediate presence of the physician when administering anesthesia. Collaboration applies to the other specialties, whose requirements are as follows. 1.) the nurse must enter into a "standard care arrangement," to be maintained on file at the site where the nurse practices, with the collaborating physician or podiatrist 2.) the collaborating physician or podiatrist's practice must be the same or similar to the nurse's specialty 3.) the "standard care arrangement" is subject to review by the State Board of Nursing and the State Medical Board 4.) physicians or podiatrists are required to report the names of all nurses with whom they are collaborating when renewing their licenses with the state Medical Board. (source: Your Report, the newsletter of the State Medical Board of Ohio, Fall 1996).
Please keep CLEAR updated on current happenings in your state or province. Send enacted legislation, press releases, or other news items of interest to the occupational and professional regulatory community to Adam Parfitt