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  • CCHP - Telehealth Policy in New Jersey Courts


    In December of 2023, a lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for New JerseyShannon MacDonald, MD, et al v. Otto Sabando.  In the filing, the plaintiffs (MacDonald and others) claim that New Jersey’s licensure restrictions on the use of telehealth are unconstitutional. Licensure of medical professionals, in this case physicians, is in the jurisdiction of states to decide and regulate. However, the MacDonald v. Sabando case is making the argument that New Jersey’s licensure laws violate the US Constitution as they infringe on basic rights everyone has and therefore should be struck down.
    Background on the Case
    The MacDonald v. Sabando case involves two families who need very specialized care from specific physicians. One patient, Jun Abell, a child, required specialized cancer treatment from Dr. MacDonald, a radiation oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston who has expertise in pediatric oncology and proton therapy. Jun is a New Jersey resident and while treatment for his condition has been successful, he still needs periodic check-ins with Dr. MacDonald, who is not licensed in New Jersey and therefore cannot provide services via telehealth to Jun due to current New Jersey licensure requirements.
    The case also includes Hank Jennings, a college student from New Jersey who was diagnosed with giant craniocervical junction chordoma. Mr. Jennings receives treatment from Dr. Paul Gardner, a neurosurgeon at the University of Pittsburgh, who is not licensed in New Jersey.  Follow-up visits with Dr. Gardner cannot occur via telehealth due to licensing laws in New Jersey.

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