The final rule will override state laws to create a nationwide telehealth program to improve care access and reduce wait times for veterans.
Just about everyone agrees in the basic vision for telemedicine: When a person gets sick, instead of jumping in the car to drive to a doctor’s office or urgent care center, they can pick up a phone or tablet instead, and get in touch right away with a doctor.
The global telemedicine market is expected to grow significantly from USD 22.94 billion in 2017 to USD 63.06 billion in 2024, at a CAGR of 15.6% from 2018 to 2024. Factors such as shortage of specialist physicians in rural areas, and growing aging population coupled with high prevalence of chronic diseases are propelling the growth of the global telemedicine market. Moreover, increasing investment for advanced healthcare IT infrastructure and government initiative towards healthcare are boosting the growth of the telemedicine market. However, lack of trained professionals, and high technological cost are inhibiting the growth of the global telemedicine market.
Dr. Bruce Miewald, a child psychiatrist in Idaho, is among the first to expand his practice through the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. He’ll soon use a telemedicine platform to reach patients across the country.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia will soon end reimbursements for non-urgent ER visits, and is asking members to instead use the insurer’s telehealth platform or visit the nearest urgent care or retail clinic.
Increased use of technology to treat injured workers remotely potentially could speed treatment, give injured workers access to more specialists and reduce workers compensation claims costs, but telemedicine also introduces new risks that must be addressed, a panel of experts said.
The American Telemedicine Association Training Program Accreditation Committee voted to award accreditation for a Certificate in Telehealth offered by Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. The Telehealth Facilitator program is offered through the Institute of Emerging Health Professions at the University. The program consists of five learning modules (each designed to be completed in five weeks following the start of each program cohort), and successful completion of all program requirements will earn graduates a certificate and continuing medical education credits for some health professionals.
An Illinois-based law firm has filed a class action lawsuit against telemedicine company MDLive, alleging that the company takes screenshots of sensitive patient health information and sends them to TestFairy, an Israeli company that does quality control on apps, and that this is a violation of patient privacy. MDLive, for its part, denies that there’s anything improper about its procedures.
The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact eases the path for telehealth licensing in 18 member states, giving physicians the opportunity to practice telehealth across state lines.
While there may be considerable variation in telemedicine policies and reimbursement models from state to state, standards in some specialized types of telemedicine should be consistent, according to new practice guidelines from the American Telemedicine Association.