Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Health Care & Wellness Committee

SSB 5386

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Concerning training standards in providing telemedicine services.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care (originally sponsored by Senators Becker, Cleveland, Rivers, O'Ban, Short, Braun, Wilson, L., Holy, Brown, Warnick, Bailey, Zeiger, Conway and Van De Wege).

Brief Summary of Substitute Bill

  • Directs the Collaborative for the Advancement of Telemedicine to develop training that may be taken by health care professionals who use telemedicine technology.

Hearing Date: 3/15/19

Staff: Chris Blake (786-7392).


The Collaborative for the Advancement of Telemedicine (Collaborative) was created in 2016 to enhance the understanding and use of health services through telemedicine. The Collaborative consists of representatives from the academic community, hospitals, clinics, health care providers, and carriers, as well as legislators. The University of Washington provides support to the Collaborative.

The Collaborative is required to develop recommendations on improving reimbursement and access to services; identify telemedicine best practices, guidelines, billing requirements, and fraud prevention, as developed by recognized medical and telemedicine organizations; and explore other priorities. In addition, the Collaborative must make recommendations on whether to create a technical assistance center to support providers implementing or expanding services through telehealth technologies. The Collaborative has issued three reports with its final report due shortly before its termination on December 31, 2021.

Summary of Bill:

By January 1, 2020, the Collaborative for the Advancement of Telemedicine (Collaborative) must make an online telemedicine training available to health care professionals who use telemedicine technology. The contents of the training must include information on state and federal law, liability, informed consent, and other criteria established by the Collaborative in consultation with the Department of Health and the Medical Quality Assurance Commission. The training must include a question and answer methodology for demonstrating knowledge.

Health care professionals may complete the training. Health care professionals who complete the training must sign and retain an attestation.

Legislative findings are made regarding the ability of telemedicine to increase access to health care services. Legislative intent is stated to be ensuring that health care professionals who provide services through telemedicine have current information.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Not requested.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.