Last week, our blog post discussed the general rules permitting telemedicine in Georgia. Often, our healthcare and business law firm’s provider clients who conduct telemedicine also need to understand the requirements around prescribing controlled substances based on telemedicine visits. This post intends to outline some of the relevant prescribing rules in Georgia and the exceptions due to the Public Health Emergency (PHE) created by COVID-19. This post intends to outline some relevant Georgia rules and regulations relating to telemedicine. If you have questions about telemedicine or prescribing rules or would like to discuss this blog post, you may contact our healthcare and business law firm at (404) 685-1662 (Atlanta) or (706) 722-7886 (Augusta), or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also learn more about our law firm by visiting www.hamillittle.com.
Georgia Rules on Prescribing Controlled Substances via Telemedicine
As discussed in our prior blog post on the general telemedicine rules, we look to the Medical Board’s rules on Unprofessional Conduct, among other rules, to decipher what is allowed in Georgia. Rule 360-3-.02 defines Unprofessional Conduct to include subsection (5), which provides that Unprofessional Conduct could include: “Prescribing controlled substances . . . and/or dangerous drugs . . . for a patient based solely on a consultation via electronic means with the patient, patient’s guardian or patient’s agent.” As such, the general rule prohibits prescribing controlled substances via a telemedicine consult. However, the rule does “not prohibit a licensee from prescribing a dangerous drug for a patient pursuant to a valid physician patient relationship in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 33-24-56.4 or a licensee who is on-call or covering for another licensee from prescribing up to a 30-day supply of medications for a patient of such other licensee nor shall it prohibit a licensee from prescribing medications when documented emergency circumstances exist.” Rule 360-3-.02(5). There are other exceptions related to specific Schedule II controlled substances.