Telehealth is viewed as mode of delivery of health care services, not a separate form of practice. There are no legal prohibitions to using technology in the practice of speech-language pathology, audiology, or hearing aid dispensing, as long as the practice is done by a California licensed practitioner. Telehealth is not a telephone conversation, e-mail/instant messaging conversation, or fax; it typically involves the application of videoconferencing or store and forward technology to provide or support health care delivery.
The standard of care is the same whether the patient is seen in-person, through telehealth or other methods of electronically enabled health care. Practitioners need not reside in California, as long as they have a valid, current California license.
The laws govern the practice of speech-language pathology, audiology, and hearing aid dispensing, and no matter how communication is performed, the standards of care is no more or less. Practitioners using Telehealth technologies to provide care to patients located in California must be licensed in California and must provide appropriate services and/or treatment to the patient.
CALIFORNIA LICENSED SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGISTS, AUDIOLOGISTS, AND HEARING AID DISPENSERS PRACTICING MEDICINE IN OTHER STATES:
Licensees intending to practice via telemedicine technology to treat patients outside of California should check with other state licensing boards. Most states require practitioners to be licensed, and some have enacted limitations to telemedicine practice or require or offer a special registration for interstate practice.