Each state is responsible for setting laws regarding who is eligible to provide telemedicine services to residents of that state. In New Jersey, a practitioner must be licensed in New Jersey in order to provide telemedicine services within the state. If you are considering offering telemedicine services to a client located outside of New Jersey and you are not already licensed to practice social work in that state, NASW-NJ strongly recommends you contact that state’s NASW Chapter for guidance or reach out to that state’s social work licensing authority.
If your client is currently located in New York State, you can find New York's Office of the Professions COVID-19 FAQ here (refer to question #9). If your client is currently located in Pennsylvania, you can find information about Pennsylvania's telemedicine waivers here.
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, actions taken by the Federal government have loosened restrictions that prevent practitioners from providing services across state lines. However, these provisions apply only to Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP). The response of private insurers is not governed by the federal government. Some private insurers are taking steps to improve access to services; others have not done so.
On March 19, 2020 Governor Murphy signed bill A-3862 which grants the authority to the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs to provide licenses to out-of-state practitioners on an expedited basis during the remainder of this crisis. This law will make it easier for professionals licensed in other states to provide services to residents of New Jersey. We are currently awaiting word from the Division of Consumer Affairs and the NJ Board of Social Work Examiners as to how this new law will be implemented.
The Governor also signed on March 19, 2020 bill A-3860 , which authorizes any health care practitioners to provide telemedicine and telehealth services for the duration of the public health emergency and directs the Commissioner of Health and the Director of Consumer Affairs to waive any requirements in law or regulation necessary to facilitate the provision of healthcare services using telemedicine and telehealth during the emergency. Read the press release here.
Read the press release from the Division of Consumer Affairs authorizing expedited licensing for out of state social workers.
Apply for expedited out of state licensure.
The new law, however, does not provide the ability for New Jersey licensed practitioners to provide services to clients located outside of New Jersey. Each state is addressing its licensure policies individually; the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) is working to compile a National list of temporary changes to social work licensure laws nationwide. See the ASWB updates and tracking list.
Governor Murphy's March 22, 2020 press release indicates that "an announcement regarding a regional telehealth initiative will follow."