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February 2024

H. 4159 Passes Legislature, Awaits Governor’s Signature

By News

Pictured above: Co-Chairman of the SCTA, Kathy Schwarting and Dr. Jimmy McElligott testifying before a subcommittee of the Senate Medical Affairs Committee.

Source: Campbell Mims, Sweatman Strategies

In coordination and collaboration with the South Carolina Telehealth Alliance and other stakeholders,  Palmetto Care Connections (PCC) has actively supported H. 4159: Telehealth and Telemedicine Modernization Act. The bill outlines the following regulatory goals:

  1. Introduce a new definition of “telehealth” which includes all provider types, not only MDs and DOs, who are essential to a patient’s care team in providing increased access to healthcare.
  2. Modernize telehealth prescribing language to ensure SC patients can access life-saving treatment to combat the opioid epidemic in our state while maintaining important safeguards. Prescriptions of Schedule II and III narcotics are not permitted when a physician-patient relationship is established solely via telemedicine except when/for:
    • Patient is in hospital being treated by a practitioner
    • When buprenorphine is prescribed for opioid use disorder
    • End of life care, and
    • Other exceptions authorized by the board

On Jan. 24, 2024, the Senate adopted the Committee amendment of H. 4159, and the bill received a second reading as amended. On Jan. 25, the bill was read a third time and returned to the House with amendments with a roll call of Ayes 41; Nays 0. The House concluded in the Senate amendments on H. 4159. Having received a third reading in both chambers, the bill as amended was enrolled by the house on Wednesday, Jan. 31. The bill now travels to Gov. Henry McMaster’s desk for his signature of approval.