Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) for Telehealth
The National Emergency Management Association released guidance on using the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) to facilitate telehealth across state lines. EMAC is a national disaster-relief compact ratified by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and all U.S. territories.
On April 1, The National Emergency Management Association sent all 50 state governors a telehealth template for a gubernatorial executive order, which will create more consistency across state lines in implementing telehealth services and solving interstate licensure issues during the COVID-19 emergency. The Alliance for Connected Care and the National Governor’s Association called on Governors to use their authority under EMAC in March. Through this executive order, states can enable private sector telehealth in their state to assist health care workers.
If adopted, the template directs governors to waive interstate licensure for the duration of the emergency period, so that any health provider licensed, registered, or certified in good standing in another U.S. jurisdiction may deliver services in their state, including through telehealth, as long as those services are within the provider’s authorized scope of practice. This solves the existing telehealth barrier of interstate license permits and certificate reciprocity between states using existing EMAC state law. In the executive order template, governors can also mandate that no municipality, county or any other agency of the State can enact or enforce any order, rule, regulation, ordinance or resolution that would contradict the provisions included in the executive order.