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California Online Services Provider Allegedly Inflated Effectiveness of Its Teletherapy Services

  • California AG Xavier Becerra reached a settlement with the online, for-profit provider of special needs services PresenceLearning, Inc. to resolve allegations that it used false advertising and misrepresentations in marketing its services in violation of California’s False Advertising Law, Unfair Competition Law, and Consumer Legal Remedies Act.
  • The complaint alleged, among other things, that PresenceLearning falsely and misleadingly claimed that its teletherapy services were equally as effective as in-person services, and that medical associations and federal agencies endorsed the effectiveness of PresenceLearning’s teletherapy services.
  • Under the terms of the proposed stipulated judgment, PresenceLearning agreed to pay $600,000 to the state, of which $250,000 will be used to reimburse attorneys’ costs, and to retain an expert consultant to monitor its compliance with federal and California telehealth-related laws and regulations. PresenceLearning will also be enjoined from making any unsubstantiated claims in the advertising and marketing of its services.