AMA Approves New Telemedicine Guidance for Ethical Practice of Health Care Professionals
Monday, July 11, 2016
By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
On June 13, 2016, the American Medical Association (AMA) implemented new guidance for the ethical practice of telemedicine. These new guidelines are aimed to help physicians understand how their fundamental responsibilities may play out differently when patient interactions occur through telemedicine, compared to traditional patient interactions at a medical office or hospital.New Ethical Guidelines for Telehealth and Telemedicine.The new ethical guidance on telehealth and telemedicine was developed over the past three years by the AMA's Council on Ethics and Judicial Affairs. The use of telemedicine has been growing over the past decade, moving to include a broad range of specialties. The development of the new guidelines coincides with the growth and innovations in technology that are changing the ways in which people live their lives, including reshaping the ways they engage with medicine."Telehealth and telemedicine are another stage in the ongoing evolution of new models for the delivery of care and patient-physician interactions," said AMA Board Member Jack Resneck, M.D. "The new AMA ethical guidance notes that while new technologies and new models of care will continue to emerge, physicians' fundamental ethical responsibilities do not change."Model For Care.Patients, especially when using telemedicine, need to be able to trust that physicians will place patient welfare above other interests, provide adequate care, provide the information patients need to make well-considered decisions about care, respect patient privacy and confidentiality, and take steps needed to ensure continuity of care. According to the AMA’s press release, the guidelines for the ethical practice of telemedicine “permit physicians utilizing telehealth and telemedicine technology to exercise discretion in conducting a diagnostic evaluation and prescribing therapy, within certain safeguards.” The AMA guidelines for telemedicine counsel that physicians using telehealth should, among other things:
• Inform patients regarding the limitations of the technology;The AMA expects to publish the AMA ethical guidelines for telehealth soon. To read the AMA press release in full, click here. To learn more about telemedicine, click here to read one of my prior blogs.
• Advise patients on how to arrange for follow-up care;
• Encourage patients to inform their primary physician when they’ve been treated via telehealth; and
• Support policies and initiatives that promote access to telehealth or telemedicine services for all patients who could benefit from receiving care electronically.
Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in Representing Health Care Professionals and Providers. At the Health Law Firm we provide legal services for all health care providers and professionals. This includes physicians, nurses, dentists, psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health counselors, Durable Medical Equipment suppliers, medical students and interns, hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, pain management clinics, nursing homes, and any other health care provider. We represent facilities, individuals, groups and institutions in contracts, sales, mergers and acquisitions. The services we provide include reviewing and negotiating contracts, business transactions, professional license defense, representation in investigations, credential defense, representation in peer review and clinical privileges hearings, Medicare and Medicaid audits, commercial litigation, and administrative hearings. To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.
Sources:Grimm, Douglas. “AMA Adopts Ethical Guidelines for Telemedicine, Finally.” Lexology. (June 16, 2016). Web.Mills, Robert. “AMA Adopts New Guidance for Ethical Practice in Telemedicine.” American Medical Association (AMA). (June 13, 2016). Web. About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620. KeyWords: Florida telemedicine and telehealth, legal guidance for telemedicine practice, American Medical Association (AMA) guidelines for telemedicine practice, virtual healthcare, e-visit, health care reform, online visits with health care professionals, legal requirements for telemedicine practice, legal representation for health care professionals, telemedicine legal representation, health care defense attorney, legal opinion letter on telemedicine, The Health Law Firm
“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.Copyright © 2016 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.
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