AMA holds off on setting telemedicine ethics policy

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | November 24th, 2015

The American Medical Association House of Delegates decided Monday that proposed recommendations forethical practicesin telemedicine did not clearly address medical liability concerns and sent them back to the authors for more work.

The recommendations were included in a report developed by the AMAs Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs and werediscussedduring a meeting of the Committee on the AMA Constitution and Bylaws held Sunday at the House of Delegates interim meeting in Atlanta.

Along with the liability concerns, the committee found that some recommendations were impractical for specialists such as pathologists and radiologists. These included proposals that patients be informed of telemedicines limitations and that physicians should advise telemedicine users on how to arrange follow-up care.

Other recommendations included disclosing any financial interests physicians may have in the telemedicine application or service; establishing a patients identify and confirming that telemedicine services are appropriate for a patients condition before offering a diagnosis or prescription; making sure a telemedicine service protects patients privacy; and ensuring that steps will be taken to ensure continuity of care.

Delegates also suggested that the recommendations allow a state or specialty medical society to develop its own guidelines and that it be noted that the AMAs recommendations are only meant to serve as guidance.

The revised report is expected to be reconsidered at the delegates annual meeting in Chicago set for June 11-16, 2016.An earlier versionof the ethical practice of telemedicine report had been presented at the annual meeting this past June and was also referred.

Link to original articlein Modern Healthcare