Telemedicine has both benefits and drawbacks, both to practitioner and to patients. One of the drawbacks is, similar to healthcare in general, the over-regulation of telemedicine. This webinar will discuss all of the compliance areas, licensure requirement as the doctor may be in a different state (or even different country) from the patient, is a physical examination before the telemedicine necessary, is the contact the unauthorized practice of medicine for one or more of several reasons, malpractice issues in telemedicine, fraud and abuse issues, HIPAA compliance (security and privacy issues), and reimbursement issues. Penalties for non-compliance in these areas include licensure board discipline, including loss of license, criminal prosecution, malpractice liability, and inability to get reimbursed. The webinar will discuss all these topics.
With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of telemedicine has grown exponentially. It can aid in combating the disease by allowing patients to interact with their doctors without traveling for an in-office visit with possible exposure to the virus. But even with some relaxation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)’s standards, many compliance issues exist. Both the federal government and the states have sanctioned, including criminally prosecuting telemedicine providers for the unauthorized practice of medicine, Medicare Fraud, malpractice inherent in no actual patient contact, and tele prescribing. Also, HIPAA requires security of the contacts and the data generated thereby and its Privacy Rule’s patient rights are implicated by telemedicine. In addition, practitioners need to know the rules for reimbursement for telemedicine encounters.
Jonathan P. Tomes is a national HIPAA compliance consultant and attorney admitted in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma who practices in Kansas City, Kansas, and the greater Kansas City area. After he had retired from the U.S. Army as a JAGC officer, having been a military judge (which taught him how to read and interpret government regulations) and having spent several years as a military intelligence officer (which taught him about gathering and using information), he taught law at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law before he opened his own private law practice. Mr. Tomes is President of EMR Legal, a national HIPAA compliance consulting firm. EMR Legal has consulted and trained over 1,000 HIPAA clients since 1998, ranging from Federal, State and County governments to large hospitals to small practices. Jon is currently working on an online HIPAA training video and an online HIPAA risk assessment.