Bill Description: House Bill 61 would allow, with restrictions, certain out-of-state mental or behavioral health providers to offer telehealth services in Idaho.
Does it increase barriers to entry into the market? Examples include occupational licensure, the minimum wage, and restrictions on home businesses. Conversely, does it remove barriers to entry into the market?
House Bill 61 would create Section 54-5714, Idaho Code, to allow for (and, unfortunately, regulate) mental and behavioral health telehealth services in Idaho.
Subsection 2 of the new sections says, "A mental or behavioral health provider who is not licensed in Idaho may provide telehealth services to an Idaho resident or person located in Idaho, notwithstanding any provision of law or rule to the contrary, pursuant to the requirements and limitations of this section."
Among these requirements and limitations, the provider must "biennially register in Idaho to provide telehealth services" and hold a "current, valid, and unrestricted licensure from an applicable health care licensing authority in a state, district, or territory of the United States that has substantially similar requirements for licensure as the corresponding Idaho licensing authority."
Providers are also required to "act in full compliance with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, including this chapter and laws and rules of the applicable Idaho licensing authority regarding such mental or behavioral health care practice."
It should be noted that "rules" refers to bureaucratic restrictions and agency red tape, not laws implemented by the Legislature.
While regulations limit market choice, the larger impact of this bill is to reduce barriers to entering the market, which is a good thing as it facilitates increased market participation, leading to increased consumer choice.
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