The conflict surrounding Teledoc Inc’s case in Texas against that state’s Medical Board has bled into new ethical guidance announced by the American Medical Association (AMA) at its recent annual meeting. The association’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) now recommends that “physicians providing clinical services through telemedicine [should] uphold the standards of professionalism as expected in in-person examinations, and recognize the limitations of the relevant technologies.” These newly-adopted guidelines differ from previous efforts which specifically call for a “face to face” and “valid” patient-physician relationship, conducted in person or over video. Delegates from the Texas Medical Board criticized the new rules, as it places their interpretation in conflict with the AMA’s code of ethics. The Board is currently seeking to restrict the prescribing abilities of telemedicine doctors in the state, warning of the potential for “pill mills” to crop up via telemed. Teledoc is suing the Board for stifling competition under the Sherman Act.
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