Court ruling spells possible victory for Teladoc against Texas Medical Board

A judge's recent ruling in favor of Teladoc against the Texas Medical Board may spell an early victory for the telemedicine provider.

Judge Robert Pitman late last week issued a temporary injunction against the board's rule, which would require in-person visits before the use of telemedicine. Pitman said the board's rule is illegal because requiring in-person visits harms competition, according to an announcement.

The ruling stops enforcement of the board's rule until after trial to determine whether it violates the law.

The board and Teladoc have wrangled in court since 2011 over the face-to-face requirement. The rule was scheduled to take effect June 3, FierceHealthIT previously reported. It follows the Federation of State Medical Boards' policy on appropriate use of telemedicine, which calls for doctors to establish a "credible patient-physician relationship."

Texas is not the only state that has made such a ruling against Teladoc. Tennessee's medical board also proposed a similar rule last August.

"With this latest episode behind us, we look forward to delivering the full value of telehealth to the people of Texas indefinitely," Jason Gorevic, chief executive officer of Teladoc, said in the announcement. "In the face of increasing physician shortages and rising healthcare costs, other states across the country have found solutions that embrace telehealth, and all its benefits, while ensuring patient safety. Today's court ruling allows Texans to continue enjoying these benefits, as well."

The company also is moving closer to an initial public offering. Teladoc in April filed a draft registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

To learn more:
- read the announcement

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