Corporate influence a barrier to telehealth at practices

Although practices typically consider the regulatory barriers to telehealth to be about reimbursements or privacy, an overlooked legal area are rules prohibiting the corporate practice of medicine and the grey area of "friendly PC models," Daniel Gottlieb, associate attorney at EpsteinBeckerGreen in Washington, D.C., wrote in a blog post last week. Some state laws (although not in Hawaii, Mississippi and Ohio) require the licensed physician to make the management decisions and bar nonclinical individuals or businesses from influencing the physicians' professional judgment.

Although the commonly used "friendly PC model"--in which a managed service organization employs the physician owner--avoids violations, there is no hard-and-fast rule on when such an arrangement is considered a corporate practice of medicine, the attorney wrote. Gottlieb noted rulings from state medical boards have been inconsistent, and he encouraged telehealth arrangements that fit within the law. Article

Suggested Articles

Federal health centers across the country will receive nearly $107 million to support quality improvement efforts.

Planned Parenthood withdrew from the Title X program rather than comply with a new rule prohibiting providers from referring women for abortions.

While it continues to oppose “Medicare for All,” the American Medical Association has dropped out of a coalition organized to fight the proposal.