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Telemedicine: exciting advancement with legal obstacles

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2016 | Medical Malpractice |

The practice of medicine has evolved and changed considerably over time. Today, we have incredible amounts of resources, testing equipment and medication, and our access to care facilities is better than ever. However, there is always room for improvement.

For instance, access to medical care is something that people are always looking to make better. If you live in Atlanta, you may not consider accessibility a problem. However, if you live in more remote areas, you could learn the hard way that accessing medical care can be far more difficult than you would like. This is where telemedicine is hoping to make a difference.

As discussed in this Forbes article, telemedicine is the practice of using tools like email, video chat and other digital devices to connect medical workers and patients without requiring them to meet in person. It is a relatively new resource, but its popularity has grown considerably in a short amount of time.

In fact, telemedicine is growing so quickly that people are raising concerns about regulations and licensing practices that have yet to catch up with it. This leaves the door open for a number of patient-related complications, including what would happen in the event of malpractice.

For example, if you live in Georgia but are consulting with a physician in California who reads your X-rays incorrectly resulting in misdiagnosis, then you may still be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim. However, a few different issues could arise:

  • In which state would you file your claim?
  • Is the doctor or nurse licensed in your state?
  • Is telemedicine covered under the care provider’s insurance?

These issues can significantly influence the outcome of a legal claim. While these claims may still be quite rare, these are matters people would like to address and resolve before they become more common. This means that laws will likely be proposed, changed, passed and denied in the coming months and years.

With all that will likely be changing on the state and federal levels when it comes to telemedicine, it can be crucial that you discuss any legal concerns or questions with an attorney experienced in medical malpractice laws. You do have rights as a patient, but figuring out what those are in the context of telemedicine can be difficult without legal guidance.


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