Teladoc: Convenient, but Bad for Patient Safety

Posted By Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC || 13-May-2015

Teladoc has been in hot water with the Texas Medical Board recently. The Board is imposing additional regulations to protect patients from the risk of inaccurate diagnoses.

“How can a physician make an accurate diagnosis when they have no objective diagnostic data?” – That’s a great question, Texas Medical Board. We’re glad you asked.

Teladoc is the nation’s leading telemedicine provider. Patients can call into Teladoc and explain their symptoms, and they will be given medical advice over the phone. The Texas Medical Board says this puts patients at risk. Millions of employees use Teledoc because it is provided by their employers, but the way people use the service might change. This is because The Texas Medical Board recently issued new rules to make it harder for patients to receive medical advice and even prescriptions over the phone.

The new rules prevent patients from getting over-the-phone advice and prescriptions from a physician they haven’t first seen in person. What many people liked about services like Teladoc though was the convenience of “shopping” other places, such as when you are out of town and nowhere near your regular doctor.

While companies like Teladoc are upset that the Texas Medical Board’s new rules are harming competition in the healthcare industry, the Board responded by saying that’s beside the point. The real issue, they say, is patient safety. Patient safety must be the primary goal of medical practitioners, not how healthy the competition is in the healthcare market.

While no one is arguing to put an end to Teledoc and services like it, they are looking for more ways to reign in the extent of the services they provide, and in what situation those services are appropriate. As medical malpractice attorneys, we see far too often how patients can be harmed by a careless diagnosis, or a prescription written in haste.

We encourage you, whether you spoke to a doctor over the phone or saw one in person, to contact our Portland medical malpractice lawyers if you were harmed by a careless decision your doctor or healthcare provider made. Consultations are free, so call us or fill out a free case review form.