Telemedicine and Scope of Practice Issues
What services will a provider and its professionals be providing under a telemedicine arrangement? We counsel clients to consider issues, including those recent developments from state medical boards on, for example:
- Is the provider required to conduct an in-person exam of the patient?
- How do providers establish a valid physician-patient relationship through telemedicine?
- What limitations are there on rendering a diagnosis or treatment recommendations during a telemedicine encounter?
- Will the provider use remote monitoring, mobile telemedicine, or mHealth technology (e.g., Internet-connected dermascopes, blood pressure monitors, and so forth) in connection with the consult?
- Will the provider issue a remote prescription and, if so, for what types of medication?
Similar considerations are applicable to hospitals who want to send pathology samples to an affiliated clinical lab located in another state or country for analysis.
Particular service lines — such as mental health, neurology, and radiology — also demand their own specific considerations. For example, services provided under teleradiology arrangements are often physician-to-physician, so it is critical that you have a thorough understanding of the scope of practice, qualifying reads, and state licensure.