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The “100 Day Action Plan” of President-elect Donald Trump promised to bring broad and sweeping change to the current laws governing the healthcare industry in the US Specifically, Trump’s 100 Day Action Plan called for the full repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) and its replacement with health savings accounts, cross-states sales of health insurance, and modifications to state managed Medicaid programs.  The Plan also advocated a more streamlined drug approval…
In an effort to avoid the expense of additional discovery and to give the parties an opportunity to settle their dispute over the TMB’s new rules restricting telemedicine services in Texas, the Texas Medical Board (“TMB”) and Teladoc, Inc. (“Teladoc”) filed a joint motion in the U.S. District Court on November 2nd, 2016 requesting that the court defer the scheduling order and stay the litigation proceedings for 150 days.  This motion comes about two weeks…
On October 17, 2016, the Texas Medical Board (“TMB”) voluntarily dropped its 5th Circuit appeal of a lower court’s refusal to dismiss Teladoc’s case against the TMB. The appeal itself was unique in that it was not an appeal of the District Court’s final ruling, but of the refusal to grant the TMB’s motion to dismiss Teladoc’s suit on the basis that the TMB acts as a state agency under law and is therefore immune to…
The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), in a joint amicus brief with the Department of Justice filed on September 9, 2016, petitioned the Fifth Circuit to dismiss the Texas Medical Board (“TMB”) appeal of the district court ruling holding that TMB regulations restricting the prescribing rights of physicians providing professional services through telemedicine may be challenged under federal anti-trust laws.  The FTC asserted that the appellate court does not have jurisdiction over the issue because there…
On August 15, 2016, United States District Judge Robert Pitman denied the motion of the Texas Medical Board (“TMB”) to certify order for an immediate appeal of the court’s decision not to dismiss the Teladoc case.  The court previously denied the TMB’s attempt to have the case against it dismissed, which was brought by Teladoc challenging the TMB’s adoption of a rule requiring physicians prescribing certain medications to first see patients face to face. …
On June 13, 2016, the American Medical Association (AMA) at its annual meeting approved new ethical guidelines for physicians providing telemedicine services, which will be incorporated in the full publication of the AMA Code of Medical Ethics this fall. Although the ethical guidelines do not place legal limitations on the provision of telemedicine for any individual physician or State, they are designed to guide a physician in his or her practice. Allegations of any violations…
In the fall of 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) released an online resource to assist mobile health application developers in determining whether they need to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”). This week, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”)  announced a new web-based tool to assist these same innovators to figure out where they fit within a broad range of laws related to the…
If passed, the newly introduced bipartisan telehealth bill, “Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act (S. 2484),” would significantly increase Medicare reimbursement coverage for telehealth services and remote patient monitoring.…
The Teladoc lawsuit against the Texas Medical Board (the “TMB”) regarding a rule that would require physicians to meet with patients face-to-face prior to prescribing medication will continue to move forward following a federal judge’s denial of the TMB’s request to dismiss the lawsuit. Effective October 2010, the TMB amended its telemedicine regulations, restricting the definition of “telemedicine” to consultations using advanced telecommunications technology that allows the provider to see and hear the patient in real…
In its June 9, 2015 Fraud Alert, the OIG cautions that physician compensation arrangements must reflect only the fair market value for bona fide services that physicians actually provide. Even legitimate compensation arrangements may violate the anti-kickback statute if “one purpose of the arrangement is to compensate a physician for his or her past or future referrals of Federal health care program business.” The OIG reported recent settlements with 12 individual physicians whose medical…