A very important Supreme court ruling is becoming a gamechanger for telemedicine. A company named Teledoc feels the Texas medical board is proventing them from moving forward with getting their prescriptions from a video chat with the doctor, rather then go to the doctor at the hospital and/or their office. Teladoc CEO Jason Gorevic said in a statement. “We can’t sit back and let a bad rule by the Texas Medical Board rob from millions of consumers and physicians the tremendous benefits of telehealth.”
The medical board has yet to comment on this impending lawsuit. While they have not commented they have maintained their side since the beginning of this entire process. This is the medical board’s issue with telemedicine is “Specifically, the imminent threat to the public includes: prescribing to a patient without first evaluating and examining the patient in a face-to-face visit or in-person evaluation makes it impossible for a practitioner to insure proper and accurate diagnosis and treatment; to insure proper prescribing practices are followed; to insure the drugs prescribed are therapeutic, i.e., the medications prescribed are actually needed and/or proper for the condition (which has never been verified by an in-person evaluation or face-to-face visit); and/or prevent overuse/abuse of drugs of any kind,” they wrote.
Teladoc and the Texas Medical Board have been duking it out since 2011, but up until now the legal challenges have been procedural, with Teladoc alleging that rule changes by the Texas Medical Board didn’t follow proper procedures or didn’t allow sufficient time for public comment.
Now by allowing this to play out in the courts, Texas is poised to create a strong precedent about the extent to which state medical boards can limit the practice of telemedicine. Telemedicine companies and medical boards in other states will certainly be watching.
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