This is the question that arises out of a recent ruling by the United States Supreme Court, not on anything related to telehealth but on teeth whitening!
The case was between the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners and the Federal Trade Commission. The Board had requested non-dentist teeth whitening practitioners to desist from carrying out these activities and was challenged on the grounds that the Board did not have authority to do so and was acting in an anti-competitive way. The challenge went all the way to the Supreme Court which upheld the lower court decision on the grounds that even though the Board is, in fact, an agency of the State its action must still be supervised by the State in order to enjoy anti-trust immunity. This is analysed by Eric M Fraser in the SCOTUS blog.
It is thought that the State Medical Boards in the United States also have similar rules of governance and therefore do not qualify for immunity from anti-trust law that some State agencies have. This has led to speculation that any restrictions imposed by a State Medical Board on a licensed medical practitioner with regard to the use of telehealth could be considered an anti-competitive action. (more…)