California Telehealth Policy

California passed one of the first state telemedicine laws in the country.

The Telemedicine Development Act of 1996 was progressive legislation for its time, leading the way for other states.  However, in the decades that followed, telemedicine law in California essentially remained unchanged, even as technology rapidly evolved.  

In 2010, CCHP convened a national work group of telehealth and health policy leaders to examine whether California’s telemedicine law still remained viable in the current environment.  In a nearly year-long process involving research, key informant interviews, meetings, and vetting of recommendations by the work group, CCHP produced a report of its findings as well as a series of recommendations for updating California’s telemedicine laws.

The recommendations in CCHP’s report became the basis of the California’s Telehealth Advancement Act of 2011 (AB 415) and went into effect in January of 2012. Among its many improvements to California telehealth policy, it also created a better environment for Medi-Cal, the state Medicaid program, to provide telehealth-delivered services.

The complete history of telehealth legislation in California is outlined in this timeline created by CCHP.