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Arizona Telehealth Laws: What You Should Know

telehealth laws

As the popularity of telehealth continues to increase, both state and federal legislation have undergone huge transformations in response to this new healthcare delivery method. For healthcare providers, complying with these laws and regulations is not just a legal obligation; it’s also important for the health, safety, and quality of care of patients.

In a time where technology continually shapes the way healthcare is delivered, it becomes necessary for healthcare professionals to remain informed about Arizona telehealth laws. The COVID-19 pandemic acted as a catalyst for change, bringing about regulatory shifts in telehealth, particularly in the insurance coverage for virtual care.

The Center for Connected Health Policy reported that between March 2020 and June 2021, 49 states and D.C. made 244 policy changes to facilitate the adoption of telehealth and address regulatory barriers. This reflects the ongoing commitment to accessible and efficient remote healthcare services as they integrate into healthcare systems.

In this article, we'll go over the licensing requirements, reimbursement policies, patient privacy regulations, and prescribing rules.

Overview of Arizona Telehealth Laws

Arizona’s telehealth laws aim to expand access to healthcare services through technology while committing to patient safety and quality of care. In Arizona, telehealth services are broadly defined to include a variety of healthcare services offered remotely, like consultations, diagnoses, and treatment.

Arizona’s laws address the licensing and credentialing requirements applicable to healthcare professionals engaging in remote healthcare delivery. With the patient's safety in mind, these regulations also explicitly outline the conditions under which healthcare providers are permitted to prescribe medications during remote consultations, even specifying the types of medications that can be prescribed.

It also touches on things like insurance coverage and reimbursement policies for telehealth services. Plus, with the sensitivity of healthcare information, the laws also incorporate stringent measures to ensure the privacy and security of patient data transmitted during remote consultations. In instances where telehealth services extend beyond the state borders, the laws also address such provisions, particularly if a healthcare provider is delivering services to patients located outside of Arizona.

Then, there's this important feature in the state's legal framework for telehealth services. The requirement to obtain verbal or written informed consent, including by electronic means, from the patient or the patient's health care decision maker.

Licensing Requirements for Telehealth Providers

To practice delivering remote healthcare services, telehealth providers should be aware of these licensing requirements and regulations.

  • Healthcare providers must hold an Arizona medical license or be healthcare providers exempt from licensure under state law. 
  • Providers offering telehealth services must comply with the same standard of care as in-person services, maintain proper documentation of patient encounters, and fulfill patient confidentiality requirements under HIPAA.
  • Healthcare providers engaging in telehealth must establish a provider-patient relationship before providing remote services. This relationship can be established through a face-to-face examination or through a consultation using real-time audio and video technology. 

Reimbursement Policies for Telehealth Services

Arizona’s Medicaid program, known as AHCCCS, provides reimbursement for telehealth services as long as they meet the criteria”the type of telehealth technology used, the services provided, and the qualifications of the healthcare provider delivering the services.

Private payers in Arizona can differ in their reimbursement policies for telehealth services. Some insurance companies offer coverage for telehealth, while others may have restrictions or specific requirements that must be met for reimbursement. Be sure to verify with each private payer to know their policies and have the proper reimbursement for your telehealth services.

The state law also mandates that telehealth services be reimbursed at the same rate as in-person services. This is meant to support the use of telehealth and to have healthcare providers paid fairly for their services through telemedicine. 

Patient Privacy and Security Regulations

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) serves as a foundational law that protects your medical data during telehealth interactions. Healthcare providers offering telehealth services must follow HIPAA regulations to protect the privacy and security of your information.

Arizona also has specific telehealth laws that further increase the patient’s privacy and security. They require healthcare providers to use secure communication channels and platforms that meet encryption standards to protect your data from unauthorized access. It’s best practice to inquire about the telehealth platform’s security measures before engaging in any virtual healthcare appointments.

Telehealth Prescribing Rules and Restrictions

Prescribing healthcare providers have to comply with all state and federal regulations when prescribing medication via telehealth. In Arizona, healthcare providers can prescribe medication through telehealth as long as they follow certain guidelines. 

  • Controlled substances like opioids can’t be prescribed through telehealth unless under specific circumstances, such as when the patient is in a healthcare facility. 
  • Before prescribing medication through telehealth, healthcare providers must establish a proper patient-provider relationship. This relationship can be established through a real-time audiovisual interaction to give the provider enough information to make an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. 
  • Prescriptions for immunization programs, emergency treatment, or in response to infectious disease investigations are also excluded.
  • In accordance with federal and state law, an in-person or audio-visual examination is required for Schedule II drugs before prescribing.


Providers and patients alike should be aware of and mindful of the state's telehealth laws. With clear licensing requirements, reimbursement policies, and privacy regulations in place, telehealth services can be utilized effectively and safely in the state. Providers must be keen on staying informed and compliant with these laws to give patients the best care and to effectively work on telehealth services.