Telehealth advocacy group sues WebMD for violation of patient trust: 3 notes

Responsible Telemedicine, a San Francisco-based consumer watchdog group, filed a lawsuit against WebMD on July 15, citing the digital health company's alleged disregard for patient well-being.

Here are Responsible Telemedicine's three central accusations against WebMD:

1. The suit, filed in Washington, D.C., Superior Court, accuses WebMD of "deceptive marketing and sale" of nine STD lab tests. Though the WebMD website describes all of the tests as "FDA Approved," according to the lawsuit, only three have undergone the FDA's premarket approval process.

2. Additionally, Responsible Telemedicine alleges, despite WebMD's assurance that independent physicians review patient information to determine whether testing is necessary, "no meaningful review occurs at any point prior to the conducting of the test(s)."

3. The lawsuit also describes WebMD's alleged pattern of disregard for consumer-protecting regulations. According to the consumer advocacy group, WebMD fails to abide by several measures established by state legislatures and medical boards delineating the proper requisition or interpretation of telehealth services, as well as the information, counseling and other options meant to be provided to telehealth patients.

When reached by Becker's Hospital Review, WebMD declined to comment.

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