Physician Patient Relationship in Telemedicine

In 2017, SB 726 was enacted, which allows the physician patient relationship to be established through telemedicine, but not only by telephone (audio-only). The bill put into statute many of the regulations formerly imposed by the rules of the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure. Restrictions include:  telemedicine cannot be used to establish a valid physician-patient relationship for purposes of prescribing opiates, synthetic opiates, semisynthetic opiates, benzodiazepine, or carisprodal, but may be used to prescribe opioid antagonists or partial agonists. Instead, such prescribing must occur through a face-to-face visit for the initial encounter of the patient. The duties and obligations created by a physician-patient relationship shall not apply until the physician affirmatively undertakes to diagnose and treat the patient or participates in the treatment of the patient.