Pathologist Could Be Held Liable for Remote Review of Biopsy

| March 5, 2011

This case on the surface appears to deal with the issue of appropriate state licensure for remote reads of pathology material.  Pending the outcome of this case, it emphasis the scrutiny and need for ensuring that practioners have met appropriate state licensure requirements and local credentialing requirements.  The problem is that every state has their own requirements concerning telemedicine requirements (and interstate commerce).  

One needs to insure the laws of the both the state where the case is received from as well as the state where a reading is performed are understood and followed.  Issues such as these and potential CLIA implications remain a barrier for digital pathology and in particular an "anytime, anywhere" model.


A Washington pathologist and her group practice may be subject to liability for the unlicensed practice of medicine under Idaho law stemming from the remote review in Washington of a biopsy from a patient in Idaho, a federal court ruled Dec. 30, 2010 (Smith v. Laboratory Corp. of America, W.D. Wash., No. C09-1662, 12/30/10).

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington said Idaho’s Medical Practices Act (MPA) potentially applies to the Washington pathologist, Dr. Jane J. Yin, if she is found to have rendered a medical diagnosis for an Idaho resident without holding a license to practice medicine in that state.



Category: Digital Pathology News, Pathology News

Comments (1)

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  1. Remote labs says:

    As far as I know, you need to be a licensed pathologist first before going to the field. It only shows that you are ready, mastered enough the do’s and dont’s in lined with your profession. These people are subject for interrogation.