Health law conference addresses post-Dobbs telemedicine

The future of telemedicine in the post-Dobbs era, legalization efforts regarding psychedelic therapeutics and evolutions in digital health were among the topics addressed by experts at the Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law Conference March 8-10 in San Diego.

Greg Demske, former chief counsel to the Health and Human Services Inspector General and current partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Goodwin, gave the keynote address.

Other programs included:

• In “A Health Care Fireside Chat – A View from the Bench,” former Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack talked about how the courts responded to the effects of the pandemic as well as the need for cost-effective dispute resolution options in health care, how alternative dispute resolution can help relieve the courts and help with the back log and how the courts will look in 5-10 years.

• “Regulatory and Clinical Implications, Litigation and Privacy Rights of Telemedicine Abortion in the Post-Dobbs Era” featured a panel of experts, including a senior medical associate at Gynuity Health Projects in New York, providing an overview of telemedicine abortion, as well as clinical evolution and the parallel evolution of FDA regulation of mifepristone and state regulation of the practice of medicine related to abortion. The panel discussed how the regulation of telemedicine abortion in the post-Dobbs era is reshaping the legal and regulatory landscape in health privacy, data security and the interstate practice of medicine; and addressed the ethical issues involved in advising clients regarding health care that is legal in some states and illegal in others.

• “Psychedelic Therapeutics Research & Legalization Efforts” offered a panel of experts who discussed current scientific research and federal and state legalization efforts for the treatment of depression, alcoholism, PTSD and other diseases and conditions. They examined efforts at the federal level to compel the DEA to allow palliative care physicians access to psilocybin therapy for their patients under the Right to Try Act. Because these drugs remain Schedule I controlled substances, the panel addressed the challenges in conducting clinical research on such substances and the ethical considerations.

They also discussed the broader ethical concerns in  providing legal advice on setting up and operating a psychedelic business while the legality of the industry is in question.