FTC poised to referee telemedicine

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The Federal Trade Commission is poised to dive into medical advice, specifically telemedicine. Medpage Today reports that the regulator—which oversees an array of matters that include deceptive advertising, internet neutrality, monopolies and robocalls, among other topics—is being nudged into this part of the medical field because of the technology involved.

Telemedicine, however, is about more than a chat from home. The larger issue is that the medium gives providers an opportunity to practice medicine beyond state borders.

MedPage notes that courts have already said doctors can only telemedicate in states in which the professionals meet medical requirements and that states can bar out-of-state professionals from advising patients from afar.

The FTC could get into the mix if it deems the ban on between-state advice as anti-competitive.

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