- Last week, a federal court blocked a recent action by the Texas Medical Board to revise a rule that the board adopted in April.
- Judge Robert Pitman, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, indicated that Teladoc, a telemedicine company in Texas, is likely to succeed in showing that the revisions to the rule illegally limit competition by requiring a face-to-face visit before physicians are allowed to prescribe medication to patients.
- The ruling prohibits enforcement of the revised rule until after the trial to determine whether it violates the law.
In a press release, Teladoc said that prior to adopting the revised rule, the Texas Medical Board received hundreds of comments from consumers, physicians and businesses opposing the revisions to the rule and supporting the efficacy and the safety of telehealth. Adam Vandervoort, chief legal officer of Teladoc, said the board "failed to produce evidence during their rulemaking process to support [its] position that telehealth poses a patient safety risk."
According to the Teledoc press release, this is the sixth time in the last four years that the courts have sided with Teladoc against the Texas Medical Board. "In the face of increasing physician shortages and rising healthcare costs, other states across the country have found solutions that embrace telehealth, and all its benefits, while ensuring patient safety," said Jason Gorevic, chief executive officer of Teladoc. "Today's court ruling allows Texans to continue enjoying these benefits as well."