6 tips to protect emerging teleradiology practices

Teleradiology may be one of the fastest-growing segments of telehealth, and it's a pretty well-established technology area. But it's not without legal pitfalls for rookie radiologists trying to break into the business.

Healthcare lawyers Mark Cunningham and Douglas Griswold, writing in a recent mHIMSS blog post, offer some top-notch tips to navigate the maze of licensure, taxes, reimbursement and other issues, to help get your teleradiology practice off on the right foot. Their recommendations include:

  • Get licensed in each state you serve: You need to contact the state's licensing board to determine if you'll need that state's medical license before offering services.
  • Check out credentialing: Just as you would for an on-site practice, you need to be sure you meet the credentialing requirements of each facility you'll be working with.
  • Determine whose equipment you can use: Many hospitals won't allow you to use their equipment for off-site or non-hospital-related consult.
  • Contact payers: You may need to sign up with payers in a new state in order to receive reimbursement. This process can be lengthy, so start early. Check your contracts to see what your affiliated hospitals' policies are.
  • Comb through your malpractice policy: Check to see if your policy covers teleradiology services, and also if it covers medical services provided out-of-state, Griswold and Cunningham say. If not, you may need separate coverage in the new state.
  • Set up your business/corporation: Most states require you meet their qualifications to operate a business in that state.

What's more, regardless of which state you're streaming to, you'll need to protect patient information: Be sure you've set yourself up with HIPAA-compliant telehealth systems.

To learn more:
- read the mHIMSS blog