This is a list of telemedicine legal resources and documents for physicians who perform telemedicine visits or own their own telemedicine practice.
1. State Waivers for COVID-19
I expect some waivers to remain in place for a few more years due to the pandemic.
The FSMB keeps this PDF updated regularly. It lists the states which have waivers in place. As of this writing, 7/2022, there were 12.
As always, expect these telemedicine rules to be vague, messy, and in perpetual flux.
2. Federal Telemedicine Waivers for COVID-19
The rules will remain in flux, and to stay on top of federal waivers, this HHS website is a good resource.
We will enjoy some HIPAA flexibility for some time to come. And Medicare and Medicaid policies also will adjust accordingly.
3. Telehealth Resources from the HHS
These are the “best practice” recommendations from the HHS. It’s fair to say that if you ignore these, you may suffer some consequences.
The website is maintained for all providers, from physicians to non-physician clinicians.
Expect to read a lot of generic advice. But remember that these are the bare minimum telemedicine guidelines.
4. Patient-Doctor Telemedicine Criteria by State
Though your competence and the science of medicine is a constant, state regulations can put a wrinkle in your practice.
Each state has its own criteria for what is necessary and the consequences of a patient-doctor relationship on telemedicine.
The AMA keeps this PDF for all states’ telemedicine policies for patient-doctor relationships.
Expect vague terminology which will be open to legal debate such as “Providers are prohibited from prescribing or dispensing dangerous drugs or dangerous devices on the Internet without an appropriate prior examination and medical indication.”
Starting Your Cash Pay Telemedicine Practice
I advocate for a cash pay practice over an insurance-based model. You’ll enjoy more freedom and have more profits.
Don’t let such articles scare you. In fact, unless your state requires you to have malpractice, when you first start out malpractice insurance isn’t necessary.
I found these great resources from a well-written article on Risk & Insurance.