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Telemedicine

The Oregon Medical Board supports a consistent standard of care and scope of practice for licensees, regardless of the delivery tool or business method enabling provider-patient communication. Telemedicine is not a separate form of medicine, but rather a delivery tool. It is the practice of medicine, through means of electronic communication, information technology, or other means of interaction between a licensee at one location and a patient in another location. See the Oregon Medical Board's Statement of Philosophy on Telemedicine for guidance.

The practice of medicine occurs at the patient's location when technology is used to provide care. The provider must possess appropriate licensure in all jurisdictions where the patient receives care. Providers practicing via telemedicine on patients located in Oregon must be licensed in Oregon.*

Oregon Medical Board licensees intending to practice via telemedicine on patients outside of Oregon (including patients located in Washington) must check with the other state's licensing board. Most states or jurisdictions require providers to be licensed, and some have enacted limitations on telemedicine practice or require or offer a special registration. See the Federation of State Medical Boards Directory for a list of all U.S. medical boards.

When practicing via telemedicine, the licensee is expected to maintain an appropriate provider-patient relationship and is held to the same standard of care. The Board does not require an in-person visit to establish or maintain the provider-patient relationship; however, some situations and presentations are appropriate to provide care via telemedicine, while some are not.

*On December 3, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a 4th amendment to the Declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) to increase access to critical countermeasures against COVID-19. The amendment authorizes health care personnel who are permitted to order and administer a Covered Countermeasure (defined in the PREP Act) through telehealth in a state may do so for patients in another state so long as the health care personnel comply with the legal requirements of the state in which the health care personnel are permitted to order and administer the Covered Countermeasure by means of telehealth.Please note during the COVID-19 declared emergency in Oregon, an out of state physician or physician assistant may also request Temporary Authorization to practice in Oregon under OAR 847-010-0068. There is no fee for this request and the scope of practice is not limited to Covered Countermeasures.


Physician Telemedicine

Oregon-licensed physicians (MD/DO/DPM) may practice via telemedicine for Oregon patients if:

  • The patient is located in Oregon,
  • The physician maintains an Active status license by maintaining a physical practice location in Oregon, and
  • Telemedicine meets the standard of care for the particular patient and condition being treated.

If the physician is not maintaining an Oregon practice location, the physician must contact the Board's licensing department to discuss the appropriate license status. The Board advises Active status physicians practicing via telemedicine from outside of Oregon beyond a temporary period to contact the licensing department to ensure the physician holds the correct license status.

Physician Telemedicine Illustrative Examples:

  • An active status physician located in Oregon may practice via telemedicine for patients located within Oregon.
  • An active status physician located in their home of Washington may practice via telemedicine for patients located within Oregon if the physician also maintains and practices at an Oregon practice location.
  • An active status physician may practice via telemedicine for patients located within Oregon for two weeks while the physician is temporarily in Florida.
  • An active status physician located in Florida for an extended period and planning to practice via telemedicine should contact the Board's licensing department to discuss their appropriate license status.

For Oregon, a Telemedicine Active status license is for physicians who practice entirely outside of Oregon and render medical treatment to patients in Oregon via electronic means. See the rules for physicians to practice medicine across state lines in OAR 847-025. A Telemedicine Active status physician is not located in Oregon and may not physically practice in Oregon without a license status change.

There is a limited exemption to the Oregon licensure requirement under OAR 847-025-0020(3). The limited exemption provisionally allows an out-of-state physician not licensed in Oregon the ability to provide direct treatment to an existing patient who is temporarily in Oregon. The existing patient must be in Oregon for a short period of time with the intention of returning to their home state. If the patient will remain in Oregon on a long-term basis, the physician should work to transfer care to an Oregon-licensed physician.

Limited Exemption Illustrative Examples:

  • Vacation Patient: A California-licensed physician may provide a telemedicine visit for a patient located in Oregon on vacation for two weeks if there is a previously established physician-patient relationship.  
  • College Student Patient: An Ohio-licensed physician may, for a transition period, provide telemedicine visits for a patient attending college in Oregon if there is a previously established physician-patient relationship. The Ohio physician should work to transfer care of the college student to an Oregon-licensed physician as soon as possible.    

Physicians physically located in Oregon but not licensed in Oregon do not need an Oregon license to provide care via telemedicine to patients located outside of Oregon. The physician must comply with the rules and regulations of the jurisdiction in which the patent is physically located.


Physician Assistant Telemedicine

During the COVID-19 declared emergency, House Bill 4212 (2020 Special Session) section 46 allows PAs to practice via telemedicine for Oregon patients if:

  • The patient is located in Oregon,
  • The PA maintains an Active status license* or a COVID-19 temporary authorization, and
  • Telemedicine meets the standard of care for the particular patient and condition being treated.

*To maintain an Active status license, a PA must actively practice at an Oregon practice location.

Outside of the COVID-19 declared emergency, a PA may practice via telemedicine for Oregon patients, if:

  • The patient is located in Oregon,
  • The PA is located in Oregon,
  • The PA maintains an Active status license* under a practice agreement with a supervising physician, and
  • Telemedicine meets the standard of care for the particular patient and condition being treated.

*To maintain an Active status license, a PA must actively practice at an Oregon practice location. A PA may not practice via telemedicine if the PA is located outside of Oregon because there is no statutory allowance for PAs to practice across state lines in ORS 677.135 to 677.141.


Acupuncture Telemedicine

Oregon licensed acupuncturists may practice via telemedicine for Oregon patients, if:

  • The patient is located in Oregon,
  • The acupuncturist is located in Oregon,
  • The acupuncturist maintains an Active status license, and
  • Telemedicine meets the standard of care for the particular patient and condition being treated.

An acupuncturist may not practice via telemedicine if the acupuncturist is located outside of Oregon.


For more information, contact the Board's Licensing Department at licensing@omb.oregon.gov or 971-673-2700.


Additional Resources

The Federation of State Medical Boards offers a Telemedicine Policies: Board by Board Overview. For each state, the overview includes the type of license required, regulations or policy guidelines, and pending legislation.

The American Medical Association's Telemedicine Policy supports state-based licensure and outlines the components for quality telemedicine.

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