Health care providers in California must take reasonable steps to protect confidential medical information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. The Knox-Keene Health Plan Act of 1975, as amended, is the set of laws or statutes passed by the state Legislature to regulate health service plans, including health maintenance organizations (HMOs). However, states, including California, still have the authority to pass laws and regulations that affect health care. California defines telehealth as the “way of providing health and public health services through information and communication technologies to facilitate diagnosis, consultation, treatment, education, care management and self-management of patient health care”. Any California patient who has given informed consent to receive telemedicine services is eligible to receive this type of care.
Only people who are licensed to provide telehealth services under California law should have access to telemedicine portals. The Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) administers and evaluates health care laws and regulations. According to the California Medical Board (MBC), the standard of care for licensees is the same regardless of whether the person is being cared for in a health center, through telehealth, or through another method authorized by law. California has also enacted laws related to assisted suicide, access to reproductive health services, and durable power of attorney. The Knox-Keene Health Care Services Plan Act of 1975, as amended, is a set of statutes that all professionals licensed under Section 2 of the California Business and Professions Code, Healing Arts, must abide by when providing patient care through telemedicine. The California Natural Death Act prohibits euthanasia (murder by mercy), but allows terminally ill patients who choose to withhold food and medical care. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) sets national standards for the management and protection of people's health information.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) changed the way insurance is purchased and established special rules for both health insurance providers and their customers.