New Law Alert 2023: Idaho

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The Idaho legislature passed several bills impacting Idaho physicians. For a complete list of new healthcare laws, please see the Idaho Medical Association advocacy page. All laws are effective July 1, 2023 unless otherwise noted.

Telehealth/Virtual Care

Virtual Care Access Act (H 162): This Act clarifies virtual care practice requirements and addresses requirements for out-of-state providers treating patients via virtual care while the patient is located in Idaho.

Mental, behavioral telehealth (H 61): House Bill 61 provides that a licensed mental or behavioral health provider who is not licensed in Idaho may provide telehealth services to an Idaho resident or person located in Idaho so long as they practice according to the Idaho community standard, biennially register in Idaho to provide telehealth services, and meet certain other criteria.

Gender Affirming Care

Effective 1/1/2024, the “Vulnerable Child Protection Act” (H 71) makes provision of gender affirming care to a minor a felony punishable by a $5,000 fine and up to ten years in prison. According to the statute, “child” means “any person under eighteen years of age.” Medical practitioners are forbidden from providing puberty blockers, hormones, or surgical procedures for the purpose of “attempting to alter the appearance of or affirm the child’s perception of the child’s sex if that perception is inconsistent with the child’s biological sex.” The law does allow for such interventions for other medically necessary treatments, including treatment of a child born with “a medically verifiable genetic disorder of sex development.”


Criminal abortion exceptions (H 374): This legislation clarifies that treatment of ectopic or molar pregnancy will not be considered a criminal abortion, nor would treatment of a woman who is no longer pregnant or removal of a dead unborn child. It also removes the existing “affirmative defense” standard in which physicians accused of providing an illegal abortion were essentially considered “guilty until proven innocent.” Efforts to change the law to allow physicians to intervene to protect the “health” of the mother rather than the “life” of the mother were unsuccessful as the legislature deemed “health” to be too broad of an exception.

Civil causes of action against healthcare providers; Abortion “trafficking” (H 341) – Effective 5/5/23, this law criminalizes an adult (other than a parent or legal guardian) who procures an abortion or abortion-inducing drug for an unemancipated minor, including in states in which abortion is legal. It also expands on the existing “Civil Causes of Action” statutes that allow family members of patients to sue medical professionals who perform or induce an abortion. Specifically, the new law states that a court may not award compensatory or punitive damages if a person demonstrates that the person paid, or had been ordered to pay, such damages in a previous civil action for that particular violation. The law further states that claimants have six years from the date of the event to bring an action, and specifies that a damage award may not be paid for or reimbursed by an insurance policy, except to the extent that the person against whom the damage award is assessed has insufficient personal assets to pay the total damage award. Further, damage awards under this statute will not be subject to any limitations on medical malpractice awards.

Gestational Agreements

The Gestational Agreements Act (H 264) establishes consistent standards and procedural safeguards for the protection of all parties to gestational agreements. It requires that a gestational agreement be entered into by a gestational carrier and an intended parent prior to assisted reproduction and sets forth specific elements to be included in the written agreement.