E-health and Credentialing
However, e-health companies that utilize health care providers and seek to provide medical advice to specific individuals face daunting problems over liability issues. E-health companies desire to provide quality professional services on-line and are generally obligated by law to insure that their providers are adequately qualified and credentialed. Although the credentialing process may be contracted out to third parties, the e-health company must insure that the third party is conducting their investigation in a reasonable and thorough manner, and that the third party is insured and has the financial ability to defend and indemnify the e-health company for the third party’s negligence.
Further guidance by the e-health company as to specific policies and procedures for providers to follow may expose the company to liability for the malpractice of the provider since the doctrine of vicarious liability or principal-agent law could be used to transform an e-health company’s guidelines into a legal duty of care to be met.
Needless to say, e-health companies should consider purchasing insurance to protect them and their officers and directors from any liability. Insurance products are now coming on the market to protect e-health companies from such liability.