It’s been an incredible last week, when the Texas Medical Board ruled that doctors cannot establish a doctor-patient relationship without having seen a patient face to face. As telemedicine becomes more and more mainstream, we are bound to witness more amendments in the laws across the US. As proven by Texas Medical Board, the core interest of such laws remains the protection of patient safety and privacy.
What is the Texas Medical Board’s concern?
In a meeting on February 12th, the Texas Medical Board took a strict action against telephone-based medical consults by filing for a ruling that prohibits the first meeting between doctor and patient over the telephone. Instead the board wants a doctor and patient to first communicate in person or by video to establish an appropriate relationship.
The Texas Medical Board wants to first establish a defined physician-patient relationship. As per the board, patient health can’t be risked thus, telemedicine has to be performed after the patient has gone through a diagnosis through the use of acceptable medical practices performed during the in-person checkup.
Texas Medical Board Ruling on Telemedicine
On April 10th, the board prohibited the exchange of questions and answers through email, electronic text, chat, or telephonic evaluation with a patient, before the patient and doctor have established a face to face relationship. The ruling is expected to be in place starting June 1st week.
The right way of doing Telemedicine?
News of the ruling has put deep concern over the future of telemedicine companies in Texas, with several companies expected to lose millions of dollars in revenue over the next few months. The ruling will not affect Klara and its network of Texas-based doctors. If you are a Klara doctor in Texas, you can still continue to use telemedicine via Klara without worrying about the latest ruling.
Klara had foreseen the importance of a patient's visit to their doctor in person and only focuses on telemedical follow-ups after physical visits. Klara believes that telemedicine is revolutionizing healthcare, but in-practice visits can't be completely ignored. Klara only allows doctors to bring their patients online after an in-practice visit.
On behalf of Klara family, I am happy to reassure that Klara is by far the most compliant Telemedicine app in the US and it continues to focus on making patient care its top priority!