Standalone Telemedicine Consultations

What it means and how it affects your cover.

Firstly, when we talk about standalone telemedicine, we mean a service where a GP, employed by a third party provider who manages the service, provides consultations with non-patients. This is separate from telemedicine services you might routinely provide to your own patients or through a locum service to which you are attached. This is already part of what is considered ‘normal’ GP practice.

We sought the views of Medisec’s GP Advisory Panel (“Panel”) and underwriters Allianz plc in relation to standalone telemedicine services and we are pleased to confirm that it will come within the realm of ‘normal’ GP work where:

  • The telemedicine service provider has the endorsement of a relevant professional body.
  • Or where the Panel is satisfied with the standards of a particular standalone telemedicine service and satisfied that it is delivered by appropriately trained GPs.

In light of this, our underwriters Allianz plc will provide cover for members, as per policy terms and conditions, on foot of an individual application if the telemedicine service provider has the endorsement of a relevant professional body.

If the telemedicine service provider does not have the endorsement of a relevant professional body, we will require information to enable our GP Advisory Panel to consider the proposed service and inter alia its quality assurance processes, clinical guidelines, training, data protection systems, policies on safeguarding patients including vulnerable patients; for example minors and patients with mental health difficulties.

Your Medisec membership is personal to you and the benefits of membership should therefore not be taken to include assistance with any claim or other legal action against an employee, contractor, agent or legal entity such as a website or company in relation to the provisions of telemedicine. In all applications, we will therefore require details of the insurance/indemnity arrangements of the telemedicine employer.

In addition, we will require you to:

  • Satisfy us as to your training and plans for continuous ongoing training in the area of telemedicine.
  • Let us know the number of hours/sessions per week you will be working in telemedicine;
  • Provide us with details of your practice’s protocols and policies on data protection, privacy, and confidentiality.
  • Provide written confirmation that you will comply with the current edition of the Medical Council’s ‘Guide to Professional Conduct and Ethics for Registered Medical Practitioners’ and, in particular but without limitation, the Medical Council guidelines on telemedicine.
  • Confirm awareness of the limitation of your training and expertise and confine your practice to those areas in which you have the appropriate expertise.
  • Confirm that the service will be provided by you from a base in Ireland to patients in Ireland.
  • Inform Medisec at the time of your annual renewal whether you intend to continue providing such a standalone telemedicine service.

As this is a new and evolving area of general practice, we will need to monitor the risks involved. Our agreement to cover members working in Telemedicine will be subject to annual review and may be withdrawn at any time on foot of reasonable notice.

Medisec and in turn Allianz appreciate the evolving nature of general practice and wish to be progressive in promoting the best use of technology for the provision of optimal healthcare services for patients. We hope you understand the need to be prudent and cautious, to ensure that while we are protecting patients, we are at the same time protecting our members’ interests. Exposing you to a higher level of risk than necessary would result in increased premiums. It is for this reason we will view such requests for cover on a case-to-case basis.

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