Lawsuit Challenges Constitutionality of Telemedicine Licensing Laws (New Jersey)


Introduction: Unpacking a Landmark Lawsuit

In a recent legal development emanating from New Jersey, two physicians have embarked on a groundbreaking legal battle against the state and its medical board. Driven by constitutional claims, the lawsuit challenges telehealth regulations mandating out-of-state practitioners to hold a license to attend to patients within New Jersey. As the legal landscape surrounding telemedicine continues to evolve, this case brings to light significant questions regarding constitutional rights, interstate commerce, and patient access to specialized healthcare.

The Plaintiffs' Argument: Constitutional Infringement

The lawsuit, titled Shannon McDonald MD et. al. vs. Otto Sabando, is spearheaded by two physicians and two patients. At its core, the plaintiffs contest New Jersey's licensure restrictions on telehealth, asserting that these laws violate fundamental constitutional principles. They argue that such regulations impede upon their First Amendment...

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Super Bowl of Telemedicine: Regulation in 2024



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.

The Super Bowl Analogy

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.

DEA Flexibilities and the...

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Would You Pay $20K for Illegal Advice?


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. 

Why Risk Everything?

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...

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Can I Call Myself a "Consultant"?


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.


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The Practice of Medicine


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...

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Is it Worth the Risk?


I went Live on Facebook last Friday to answer a few questions that providers continue to have.  I have had so many responses and follow-up questions to last Friday's Live session, and I thought it would be beneficial to post the Live video and reiterate the helpful content.   (Please note that the Live recording lags for just the first 20 seconds of the video.)

Recently, during my Functional Lawyer Membership Office Hours, I was talking to a provider who wanted to register her telemedicine practice in Florida-- because Florida allows for out-of-state practitioners to do so, as long as they have a license in good standing in another state. (If you need more information about this, you can go to , and there is a step-by-step guide for you.) The provider I was helping had a good question, and one that often comes up: "What about insurance?"

Are you certain you're covered? 

The ins and outs of insurance are not always...

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Trending - Telemedicine Barriers Coming Down: West Virginia


Great news!

We are kicking off today's blog with great news! West Virginia has now been added to states who have expanded telemedicine to their own citizens and lowered the barriers for telemedicine's out-of-state practitioners.

This is part of a larger growing trend of states who are lowering barriers to telemedicine, and the best part about West Virginia's law is that there are not a lot of restrictions.

West Virginia becomes the latest state to enact some form of telemedicine registration for out-of-state practitioners to practice telemedicine in their state. This means that where the patient is located is where the telemedicine is deemed to occur. (If you don't have a license or a special purpose or registration like West Virginia has just adopted, then you're practicing medicine there illegally, and you can get fined criminally and civilly.)

Get Ready, Out-of-State Providers!

In this growing trend, we have seen many states now offering what some call "Special Purpose"...

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How to Get a Florida Telemedicine License


Want to Expand Your Practice Across State Lines?


You should already know that you can't practice medicine across state lines unless you are licensed where the patient is located. Doing so can subject you to civil and criminal liability and monetary fines for engaging in the unauthorized practice of medicine. 


But today I have great news for you the conscientious provider who wants to expand your practice safely: 


In 2019, the state of Florida passed a law allowing out-of-state providers to practice telemedicine in Florida. 


Florida number 3 when it comes to population size with over 21.7 million residents (read: 21.7 potential new patients for your practice).


All you have to do is register with the state of Florida through the department of health and follow a few basic rules that are pretty easy, and you can start seeing Florida patients. And most importantly, you're doing it all legally.


You will have a valid license to...

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Why You Need to Use a Telemedicine Consent


Hey everyone! Today, we're talking telemedicine and specifically telehealth consent or telemedicine consent. It's required in all 50 states in some form or another, and so you ought to be using it if you aren't already. And, as you'll see in this article, written telemedicine consent is the way to go to ensure you have your ducks in a row. 

Is it the same as Informed Consent? 

No, telemedicine consent or telehealth consent is different from informed consent more broadly because informed consent is really whether or not you are telemedicine or brick and mortar for that encounter is really just having a conversation with the patient, or letting them know what the plan to treatment is for that particular modality or for your office as a whole. 

When should you use it? 

Telemedicine consent should be used before you do telemedicine encounters. Now, every state has a requirement that you do telemedicine consent. Not every State tells you what ought to be in it, they...

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