Teladoc’s challenge of the Texas Medical Board’s telemedicine restrictions have been backed by the U.S. Justice Department as well as the Federal Trade Commission. It has been said that the rules are anticompetitive and that they weren’t evaluated in the appropriate manner.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit was instructed by the Justice Department along with the FTC to pay no attention to the appeal by the medical board of Teladoc’s case. The case of Teladoc was set to prevent the board from executing a rule that would hold back the practices of telemedicine in the state of Texas. They’ve felt that the court didn’t really have the right to examine the decision and the rule that was given should be thrown out.
There was a rule that was passed by the Texas Medical Board in 2015… this rule put in place the requirement that physicians needed to meet with a patient face to face prior to treating them via telemedicine. If this didn’t occur, the patient needed to have another provider present physically for a telemedicine visit. There was an amicus brief that was presented by federal regulators on Friday… in this brief it said the rule wasn’t properly reviewed and they felt that the board could be prejudiced.
The fact that there is federal support of Teladoc presents a negative signal towards the Texas Medical Board. There was a preliminary injunction that was granted by a federal judge… this injunction stopped the progress of the telemedicine rules while the case of Teladoc proceeds forward. This shows that the judge believes company that is based in Lewisville, Texas will more than likely succeed in its pursuit to dismiss the state rule permanently.
The state board was initially sued by Teladoc in April 2015. They felt the board was in need of state supervision if they wanted to pass the contentious rules. U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman refused to dismiss the suit in December. He also discarded the claims of the board that it was let off the hook from the supervision requirement from the state.
Teladoc along with the regulators feel that the 5th Circuit doesn’t need to make a ruling regarding this issue, especially since the case is still going on.