It's been a while since our last blog post, so welcome back to Functional Lawyer, where we often break down the complex world of telemedicine regulations. In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, 2024 is poised to be the Super Bowl of telemedicine regulation, with legislative sessions in full swing across states. In this blog post, we'll delve into recent developments and what they mean for the future of telemedicine. Join with me, Scott Rattigan, attorney and founder of Functional Lawyer, and I'll be your guide through this crucial period.
Why are industry insiders dubbing 2024 the Super Bowl of telemedicine regulation? The term gained traction after a December 2023 meeting between bipartisan senators, members of the House of Representatives, and the American Telemedicine Association. Advocates for telemedicine anticipate significant regulatory changes, making 2024 a pivotal year for the industry.
If someone offered you a business plan for $20,000 that could make you $100,000 in the future, but it’s illegal, would you take it?
That’s exactly the situation I came across recently in a webinar, and, believe it or not, many people chose to do it. This continues to be shocking to me because, in my opinion, illegal actions are never worth the risk. You could lose your business, your license, and even your freedom -- aside from the fact that choosing to break the law is highly immoral and completely unethical.
The truth is that you can be successful without breaking the law. We've done it. Lots of my clients have done it, and so can you.
Since I attended the aforementioned webinar, I've been sitting on this one for a while because I didn't want to react emotionally, but I think now’s the time for me to address this. In essence, this person and others (who I will not name) are saying that it was...
Many education and business training programs purport to teach doctors and other health care professionals that they can expand their practice by practicing telemedicine across state lines, or even in other areas of the world, under the guise of calling yourself a “consultant” or “health coach” and by signing a fancy consultant agreement.
Planning to order tests, diagnose illnesses, treat ailments, and prescribe medication (whether taking insurance or not, or getting paid or not), without a license, is a clear violation of the law. License and medical boards, as well as prosecutors, see through this deception and will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law whether you harm someone or not. If you are participating in medical practices that a doctor is licensed to do, then you need a license to practice medicine. It’s simply not a good idea for you to call yourself a health consultant and practice medicine across state lines at the same time.
Today, I want to help you decide how you're going to expand your practice or reevaluate how your practice is currently set up so that you can avoid committing crimes and going to jail. That may sound intense and scary, and while I do not mean to scare you, I do want you to know what your risks are. When you are sitting down to conduct your risk analysis, are you covering all your bases? Or, are you leaving areas open to potential illegalities?
You may have set up your practice based upon how others have done it, or you may have just done what you wanted in terms of setting up and expanding your practice. You have to be careful here. You need to know what the actual limitations and rules are so that you can work within them and even work within those areas that are not catching up to speed. When it comes to telemedicine specifically, the industry is far outpacing the regulators. In other words, they haven't made laws to catch up with the advancement of technology and the...