Telemedicine has been growing fast in the United States, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic pushing it forward. This has opened up new opportunities for healthcare providers, but it’s also brought a lot of rules and regulations that can be tough to handle.
If you’re thinking about getting into telehealth or are already offering telehealth services, you’ll want to work with lawyers who know the ropes. They can help you follow the rules and protect yourself from any trouble.
Guidance on Telehealth Compliance at Dike Law Group
Our local Dallas Lawyers at Dike Law Group strive to help healthcare professionals in various ways. These include setting up telemedicine practices, ensuring compliance with regulations, as well as assisting with issues related to telemedicine fraud, audits, and investigations.
Understanding Texas Telemedicine Laws
In Texas, there are some key rules for telemedicine:
- Notices and Consents: Before treating a patient, the telemedicine provider must give them some privacy info and a notice from the Texas Medical Board. The patient must also sign a form saying they agree to get telehealth services.
- Practitioner-Patient Relationship: The telemedicine provider has to build a good relationship with the patient. The law has different ways to do this.
- Prescriptions: Telemedicine providers can only prescribe drugs following the rules set by the state.
- Privacy and Security: All telemedicine platforms and communications have to follow the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules.
Setting Up a Telemedicine Practice in Texas
Getting a telemedicine practice started can be tricky:
- Interstate Licensure: Rules for telemedicine can be different in each state. You have to follow the rules for where the patient is, and it’s important to understand federal and state requirements. Texas is a corporate practice of medicine (CPOM) state, meaning, it prohibits corporations, entities, or non-physicians from practicing medicine. In order for entities or non-physicians to establish a telemedicine practice in Texas, they must create a Management Service Agreement (MSO) and enlist a licensed physician in the state to manage the clinical aspects of the business. Having a legal team on board early can help with this.
- Reimbursement: You need to figure out how you’ll get paid for telehealth services. There are different rates and rules to think about.
- Documentation and Record-Keeping: Keeping clear records is super important for getting paid. You have to make sure you meet visit length requirements, coding rules, and billing regulations.
- Security and Privacy: Telehealth services need to be secure and private. You also have to follow the law, like HIPAA.
- Fraud and Abuse Penalties: Telemedicine has been under a lot of scrutiny. If you don’t follow the rules and regulations, you could be audited or investigated for healthcare fraud.
Medicare’s Telehealth Rules
Medicare has made some changes to help telehealth grow, like:
- Paying for telehealth visits from a patient’s home at the same rate as in-person visits.
- Allowing more healthcare professionals to offer telehealth services.
- Updating the list of telehealth services.
- Expanding tele-behavioral healthcare services.
- Letting certain healthcare centers provide telehealth services to patients wherever they are.
Some of the flexibilities in HIPAA rules for telehealth tech have expired, but providers have some extra time to make sure they follow the rules without getting in trouble.
Telemedicine and Remote Prescribing
If you’re going to prescribe medications through telemedicine, you must adhere to various rules and regulations, which may vary from one state to another. In Texas, you need to follow the same standards and regulations as in-person settings, along with federal laws
There are some temporary rules from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that allow you to continue using certain telehealth rules for a longer duration. Nevertheless, you will need a plan to ensure you’re following all the rules and regulations.
Regulators have been watching telemedicine closely for waste, fraud, and abuse. They focus on issues such as unnecessary services, overcharging, and non-compliance. If you’re in telemedicine, potential audits, investigations, and hefty fines may emerge. Dike Law Group can assist in preventing violations and aiding with investigations.”
Talk to a Texas Telemedicine Attorney at Dike Law Group
Dike Law Group possesses in-depth knowledge of telemedicine and telehealth laws, recognizing the challenges that healthcare providers face. We offer a collaborative approach to help clients navigate this evolving field, ensuring compliance, and protecting against regulatory enforcement.
If you’re in need of help, guidance or have questions concerning healthcare business legal matters or trademarks, we invite you to explore our website at Dike Law Group. To initiate a free intake discussion, please go to dorismeet.com, where you can schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys. Our services assist healthcare professionals in Texas and throughout the country.