The Federal District Court of the Western District of Texas has ruled against the Texas Medical Board and granted TelaDoc’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction prohibiting the Texas Medical Board from enforcing new rules requiring either a face-to-face or an existing physician patient relationship in order to prescribe medication.
The Court rejected the Texas Medical Board argument based on the standard of care. The Texas Medical Board argued the standard of care would be jeopardized by allowing unrestricted telehealth encounters, but the court ruled that the standard of care for physicians remained in tact, assuming that physicians providing telehealth services would be held to the same standard of care as a physician engaged in a face-to-face encounter. Presumably, this leaves the issue of whether the standard of care was observed in any particular encounter to the rules of professional licensing and malpractice.
The Court accepted the TelaDoc argument that the rules would likely violate the Federal Anti-Trust Laws and that it would substantially harm TelaDoc’s business model.
The ruling is certain to be appealed.