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Telehealth laws for American Samoa
There are no telehealth laws in American Samoa.
An added burden for providers in practicing telehealth across borders is the need for medical licenses and the processes to obtain licensure in different states. American Samoa currently does not require local licensure for telehealth.
However, to protect the integrity of and maintain acceptable standards and protocols, licensure and medical certification need to be confirmed and authority must be given by the American Samoa Health Services Regulatory Board to operate or practice in American Samoa.
Additionally, other requirements are being discussed including the need to obtain a local business license with the Department of Commerce.
The American Samoa Health Services Regulatory Board is the overarching body responsible for ensuring all providers practicing health in American Samoa have the proper licensure and authority to do so.
Department of HealthPago Pago, AS 96799
At the Federal level, there were many policy waivers for Medicare that temporarily lifted restrictions such as the patient and provide location, provider type, services and delivery mechanism including lack of enforcement by the Office for Civil Rights for use of non-HIPAA guideline compliant platforms. With the exception of Behavioral Mental Health, most of these waivers remain temporary until the end of the PHE. It remains to be determined what policies will become permanent.
The Cross Cultural Health Care Program (CCHCP) tracks PHE policy waivers for: originating site, provider type, service expansion, audio-only delivery, easing prescribing requirements, easing consent requirements, cross-state licensing, private payer, and miscellaneous. Visit the Federal CCHCP COVID-19 tracker.
Since COVID-19, the federal government has expanded funding for telehealth under Medicare and these apply to American Samoa. American Samoa is currently operating under Public Health Emergency (PHE) telehealth waivers for Medicare and Medicaid. The American Samoa Government is currently assessing the need for a Medicaid State Plan Amendment for including telehealth Medicaid reimbursement beyond the PHE.
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The Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center (PBTRC) is an affiliation of the 14 Telehealth Resource Centers funded individually through cooperative agreements from the Health Resources & Services Administration, Office for the Advancement of Telehealth. This website was made possible by grant GA5RH37468 and 1 U1UTH42529‐01‐00 from the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth/Health Resources and Services Administration/HRSA.