Frequently Asked Questions

Telehealth is defined as the use of synchronous (real-time information sharing) or asynchronous (relay of information with lag time) telecommunications technology by a telehealth provider to provide health care services, including, but not limited to, the assessment, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, and monitoring of a patient; transfer of medical data; patient and professional health-related education; public health services; and health administration. Telehealth does not include audio-only telephone calls, e-mail messages, or fax transmissions.

Telemedicine was a term defined by the Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine in Rules 64B8-9.0141 and 64B15-14.0081, F.A.C., before the term “telehealth” was defined in section 456.47, F.S. – Use of telehealth to provide services. The definition of “telehealth” includes the practice of telemedicine.

Telehealth provider is defined as an individual who provides a health care service using telehealth and who is licensed under s. 393.17; part III of chapter 401; chapter 457; chapter 458; chapter 459; chapter 460; chapter 461; chapter 463; chapter 464; chapter 465; chapter 466; chapter 467; part I, part III, part IV, part V, part X, part XIII, or part XIV of chapter 468; chapter 478; chapter 480; part II or part III of chapter 483; chapter 484; chapter 486; chapter 490; or chapter 491; who is licensed under a multi-state health care licensure compact of which Florida is a member state; or who is registered under and complies with s. 456.47(4), Florida Statutes.

Professions that may practice as telehealth providers include, but are not limited to: a behavior analyst, emergency medical technician, paramedic, acupuncturist, physician, osteopathic physician, chiropractor, podiatrist, optometrist, certified nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, advanced practiced registered nurse, pharmacist, dentist, midwife, speech language pathologist, audiologist, occupational therapist, radiologic technologist, respiratory therapist, dietitian, athletic trainer, orthotist, prosthetist, pedorthist, electrologist, massage therapist, medical physicist, clinical lab personnel, hearing aid specialist, physical therapist, optician, psychologist, clinical social worker, mental health counselor, psychotherapist, marriage and family therapist.

Telehealth providers must practice in a manner consistent with his or her scope of practice and the prevailing professional standard of practice for a health care professional who provides in-person health care services to patients in Florida.

If you have any questions related to scope or standard of practice for your specific profession, please contact the appropriate board office. A list of Florida boards, councils, and department-regulated professions can be found by visiting www.flhealthsource.gov and clicking on the blue link labeled “Florida Boards.”

A telehealth provider may use telehealth to perform patient evaluations. If a telehealth provider conducts a patient evaluation sufficient to diagnose and treat the patient, the telehealth provider is not required to research a patient’s medical history or conduct a physical examination before using telehealth to provide health care services.

A telehealth provider may only use telehealth to prescribe a controlled substance for the following:

  • the treatment of a psychiatric disorder;
  • inpatient treatment at a hospital licensed under Ch. 395, F.S.;
  • the treatment of a patient receiving hospice services as defined in s. 400.601, F.S.; or
  • the treatment of a nursing home resident as defined in s. 400.021, F.S.

Telehealth providers must use the same standard of maintaining patient medical records as used for in-person services. They must also keep medical records confidential, as required in ss. 395.3025(4), F.S.

Health care practitioners with an out-of-state license or certification that falls under section 456.47(1)(b), F.S, qualify for an out-of-state telehealth provider registration number when they meet the following requirements:

  • Submit the completed Application for Out-of-State Telehealth Provider Registration;
  • Maintain an active, unencumbered license from another state, the District of Columbia, or a possession or territory of the United States (license verification is required);
  • Not have a pending investigation, discipline, or revocation on your license within the last five years;
  • Designate a duly appointed registered agent for service of process in Florida (see Application for Out-of-State Telehealth Provider Registration)
  • Maintain liability coverage or financial responsibility for telehealth services provided to patients in Florida in an amount equal to or greater than Florida health care practitioner requirements (Telehealth Financial Responsibility Form is required)
  • Not open a Florida office or provide in-person health care services to Florida patients;
  • Only use a Florida-licensed pharmacy, registered nonresident pharmacy, or outsourcing facility to dispense medicinal drugs to patients in Florida (pharmacists only)

Once you are approved as an out-of-state telehealth provider, you will receive an approval letter with your telehealth provider registration number. This approval letter will serve as your proof of registration. Your telehealth provider information, including your registration number, will also be posted on www.flhealthsource.gov/telehealth. A separate license will not be printed for your registration.

The Florida Department of Health is required to maintain a public list of all registered out-of-state telehealth providers, which includes the following information:

  • Name
  • Health care occupation
  • Completed health care training and education, including completion dates and any certificates or degrees obtained
  • Out-of-state health care license, including license number
  • Florida telehealth provider registration number
  • Specialty
  • Board certification
  • Five-year disciplinary history, including sanctions and board actions
  • Medical malpractice insurance provider and policy limits
  • Name and address of the registered agent designated for service of process in this state

There are two exemptions that allow an out-of-state licensee to perform telehealth for Florida patients without registering:

  1. In response to an emergency medical condition, which is defined as:
    1. A medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity, which may include severe pain, such that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in any of the following:
      1. Serious jeopardy to patient health, including a pregnant woman or fetus.
      2. Serious impairment to bodily functions.
      3. Serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.
    2. With respect to a pregnant woman:
      1. That there is inadequate time to effect safe transfer to another hospital prior to delivery;
      2. That a transfer may pose a threat to the health and safety of the patient or fetus; or
      3. That there is evidence of the onset and persistence of uterine contractions or rupture of the membranes.
  2. In consultation with a health care professional licensed in this state who has ultimate authority over the diagnosis and care of the patient

No. Since Florida is part of the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC), nurses with a MSL in participating states are already eligible to provide telehealth services to Florida patients and are not required to register as an out-of-state telehealth provider.

No. Florida licensees can already provide telehealth services to patients in Florida that they can treat in person. Telehealth provider registration only applies to health care practitioners who are licensed in another state, the District of Columbia, or a possession or territory of the United States. If a Florida licensee would like to provide telehealth services to a patient outside of Florida, they must review the laws and rules in the location of the patient.

A telehealth provider and a patient may be in separate locations when telehealth is used to provide health care services to a patient.

To ensure you stay compliant as a registered out-of-state telehealth provider, you must do the following:

  • If you have a website, a hyperlink to the department's website must be prominently displayed.
  • You must maintain liability coverage or financial responsibility for telehealth services provided to patients in Florida in an amount equal to or greater than Florida health care practitioner requirements
  • You cannot open an office in Florida or provide in-person health care services to patients in Florida
  • You must notify the department of restrictions placed on any health care license you hold in any state or jurisdiction within five business days after the restriction is placed
  • You must notify the department of any disciplinary action taken or pending against any health care license you hold in any state or jurisdiction within five business days after the disciplinary action is initiated or placed.

Florida does not have laws or rules specific to the practice of telehealth services outside of Florida. If a Florida licensee would like to provide telehealth services to a patient outside of Florida, he or she must contact the state where the patient is located to find out about the state’s laws and rules related to telehealth.

A registered agent is an individual or entity which is designated to receive legal documents, such as service of process, or other correspondence from the Florida Department of Health. In Florida, the registered agent must be listed under Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations at https://dos.myflorida.com/sunbiz/.