Virtual Telehealth Visits for Patients Not Living in Massachusetts

| Posted On May 06, 2021 | By:

senior couple using telehealth to see the doctorThis notice applies only to patients who are out-of-state at the time of their virtual telehealth appointment.

Most states have very strict laws that require healthcare clinicians to be licensed to practice in the state where a patient is located in order to provide care to that patient, including care that is done via a virtual telehealth visit. During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, many states relaxed these licensing requirements on a temporary basis. States have permitted out-of-state clinicians to provide virtual telehealth visits to their established patients, regardless of where the patient was residing at the time of the appointment, to ensure patients can receive the care they need during the pandemic.

In recent months, however, states have begun to roll back the emergency measures that relaxed these rules and are reverting to standard (pre-pandemic) rules and requirements related to how and where clinicians can provide patient care. Atrius Health – along with most healthcare providers in and outside of Massachusetts – expects that most states will soon again require a clinician to be fully licensed in the state where a patient is located at the time of a virtual telehealth visit in order to provide that service.

What does this mean for you as an out-of-state patient?

To ensure our clinicians’ licenses to practice stay in compliance with state laws, as of June 30, 2021 Atrius Health will provide virtual telehealth visits only to patients who are physically present in Massachusetts at the time of their appointment. Beginning May 15th, we will stop scheduling patients for virtual visits if we know the patient will be out-of-state at the time of the appointment. Medically necessary telehealth visits that have already been scheduled through June 30, 2021 for established patients who are out-of-state can be conducted. If you are staying outside of Massachusetts beyond June 30th and need to schedule a visit, we will need you to choose an appointment time when you are physically in Massachusetts.

We are truly sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you. If you need to reschedule an appointment, you can do so by calling your clinician’s office or by rescheduling your appointment in MyHealth Online.

What does this mean for you as an in-state patient?

If you will be in Massachusetts at the time of your upcoming telehealth appointment, then this notice does not apply to you. We are able to continue virtual telehealth visits for any patient who is located in Massachusetts at the time of their appointment.

Additionally, just as we have always done, if you are travelling outside of Massachusetts on vacation or for business and need medical advice, you can call your clinician’s office 24/7 or send a MyHealth message to your clinical team. Although we can no longer provide you a scheduled virtual visit at Atrius Health after June 30th, we can assess your situation and direct you to appropriate care in the area that you are visiting.

We thank you for trusting us to safely care for you during the pandemic and beyond. We have found that virtual visits are a safe and convenient option for care, and we are doing everything we can to enable ongoing virtual care for all of our patients.

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Comments

  1. Your article is ambiguous. Headline says patients living out of state; article just says patients “out of state” nothing about where they live. I live in Massachusetts but visit Canada for 4-5 months most summers. Can I see my GP via telehealth while I am visiting Canada?

    Comment by Susan on May 13, 2021 at 2:29 pm
  2. Thanks for the question. No, you cannot see your provider via telehealth while visiting Canada, you must be physically in Massachusetts at the time of your appointment.

    Comment by Atrius Health on May 14, 2021 at 9:55 am

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