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      Shedding Light on Telemedicine & Online Prescribing: The Need to Balance Access to Health Care and Quality of Care.

      1
      American journal of law & medicine
      SAGE Publications

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          Abstract

          The issue of online prescribing through the use of telemedicine raises ethical concerns. In particular, several studies suggest a correlation between telemedicine and overprescribing. Meanwhile, new developments in the law also have the potential to significantly impact online prescribing using telemedicine. In the absence of concrete federal guidance and a continued delay in issuing required federal regulations, states have developed their own laws, which vary considerably, regarding the ability of physicians to engage in online prescribing through telemedicine. As legal developments open doors for physicians to prescribe through telemedicine, current evidence of overprescribing, although limited, suggests the need to carefully balance access to health care and quality of care in this context, especially when crafting innovative legislative responses.This article attempts to explore this dynamic issue by closely evaluating the research on overprescribing involving telemedicine and the ethical issues surrounding online prescribing. It will continue by analyzing the current legal landscape for online prescribing for telemedicine at both the federal and state levels. Next, this article will examine ethics opinions offered by medical groups that touch this issue. Finally, this article will suggest several recommendations for law and policy moving forward by shedding light on the ethical issues surrounding telemedicine and online prescribing and how to strike a balance between access and quality of care.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Am J Law Med
          American journal of law & medicine
          SAGE Publications
          0098-8588
          0098-8588
          May 2020
          : 46
          : 2-3
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Dr. Laura C. Hoffman is an Assistant Professor of Law/Faculty Researcher for Seton Hall University School of Law's Center for Health and Pharmaceutical Law and Policy. She earned her Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) in Health Law and Policy from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 2012.
          Article
          10.1177/0098858820933497
          32659190
          9b6d4657-f4be-4c3d-abd2-999e6776a85e
          History

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