Direct-to-Consumer Telemedicine – Lessons Learned and Strategies for Advancing Policy

Interactive Breakout

April 14, 2019 | 2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. CDT

Consumers today have higher expectations when it comes to telemedicine service and delivery models, and consumers are willing to pay for services that can meet these expectations. For example, many consumers seek to use telemedicine to address a specific medical issue. As a result, consumers are attracted to platforms that are designed and targeted to address these specific issues, such as obtaining contraception or treating herpes or erectile dysfunction. Consumers also have preferences about how they engage with physicians. While some may prefer a video chat or a phone call, many consumers are comfortable with (or prefer) asynchronous interactions, especially where they have not previously met with the physician in person. In an asynchronous encounter, consumers are able to review and enter information at their own pace and on their own time and then receive detailed written instructions and feedback from their treating physician. Finally, consumers want more than just a physician visit. Consumers want to engage with physicians and services that can review their medical records, diagnose their condition (including ordering a lab test as necessary to do so), prescribe medication or treatment, and work with a pharmacy to deliver medication right to the consumer’s door.

Industry has responded to these consumer demands at a rapid race. Unfortunately, many state regulators have not kept up. While state regulators serve an important role in protecting patient safety, many of the state statutes and regulations that are on the books today, even those that were enacted in just the last few years, do not contemplate more consumer-friendly telemedicine models. This can result in increased scrutiny or pushback on non-traditional telemedicine models that nonetheless meet or exceed the standard of care. Thus, direct-to-consumer telemedicine companies must engage with and educate regulators about new delivery models. During this session, we plan to discuss (1) changing consumer preferences and industry response; (2) gaps in state statutes and regulations, and (3) strategies for engaging state regulators.


  • Laura Koman, Associate, Jones Day
  • Adam Greenberg, General Counsel, Ro
  • Lina Brenner, SVP, Legal, Nurx
  • Quinn Shean, Managing Director, Tusk Venture