May 04, 2015

Standing Up for Telehealth in Texas

By Jason Gorevic, Chief Executive Officer

Teladoc was the first company to enter the telehealth industry more than a decade ago, and we’ve grown to be one of the largest by earning the trust of our patients, customers and doctors.

Often, industry leadership means tackling large and important issues. While most of the country has been embracing telehealth, the Texas Medical Board’s actions are moving Texas in the opposite direction. The recent rule change by the TMB, if permitted to take effect, would deny patients the option of telehealth by requiring an in-person physical examination even where none is medically necessary.

We believe we have a responsibility to protect the interests of our members and clients, and to stand up for consumer choice. This is why we were left with no other choice than to file a federal antitrust lawsuit last week against the TMB to stop the enforcement of this anticompetitive rule. If the new rule were to take effect, it would result in higher costs for patients. It would also make it harder for patients to access medical care by taking away a convenient option for talking with a state-licensed doctor, any time of day or night.

We’ve taken this action to protect Texans’ access to safe, convenient and affordable health care. This is a critically important issue, and we will not stand idle while an agency controlled by members of the licensed profession attempts to limit fair trade and competition in Texas.

We firmly believe in the benefits of our service, and the industry, as a means to offer safe, convenient and affordable health care. Our members consistently tell us how much they value our service, and we’re proud to say we resolve their medical issues 94 percent of the time. Teladoc has provided hundreds of thousands of medical consultations over the last decade, and has never once had a single malpractice claim. All of our doctors are board certified, and they have an average of 20 years of experience. We are NCQA certified for credentialing – a designation denoting our adherence to health care industry best practices for quality.

We do not believe that the TMB should be able to deny patients a high-quality option like Teladoc. Rather than be deterred, we will continue to deliver Texans the quality service they have come to expect. And we are doing our part to help blaze a trail to the future and work with those interested in finding innovative solutions to today’s health care challenges.

We’re proud to stand up for telehealth and Texans’ right to safe, convenient, and affordable medical care. We can do nothing less.