I have examined on this blog the various legal and regulatory issues implicated by telemedicine. Many of those issues involve the practice of medicine and how state medical boards interpret state laws and regulations impacting telemedicine, and how those boards enforce those laws. Believe it or not, a recent Supreme Court case may have an impact on how state boards do their business.
On February 25, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the North Carolina Dental Board (“Board”) was not insulated from federal antitrust liability under the so-called “state action” doctrine when it engaged in anticompetitive conduct to restrain non-dentists from performing teeth whitening services. While the North Carolina case involved a dental board’s attempt to restrict activities of non-dentists, the Court’s opinion has broader implications for how states regulate and supervise professional boards—such as state medical boards. Ultimately, the Supreme Court decision illustrates how an individual or entity, subject to perceived over-regulation by a professional board, might mount a defense by scrutinizing whether the board meets the “state action” requirements to be insulated from liability for anticompetitive regulatory actions. Please click here to read the full EBG Client Alert.