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.
As the American Telemedicine Association convened in Minneapolis last month for its annual conference, it was interesting to recall that a little more than 20 years ago, another ATA conference was held in Minnesota. It was in Rochester and featured a Mayo Clinic-trained physician and astronaut conducting the first telemedicine conference from space. Since that time, telemedicine – the remote delivery of health care through a secure video or computer link – has experienced profound progress, increasing access to care while also lowering the cost of care.
The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) has released the latest edition of its telemedicine state-by-state score card reports. There’s good news and bad news. In the area of coverage and reimbursement, 11 states and the District of Columbia saw their grades improve since September 2014, when ATA released the first editions of these reports, and only two saw their grades decline. But in the area of physician practice standards and licensure, 11 states saw their grades lowered while just six improved. Nevada was the only state to improve in both categories.
The American Telemedicine Association awarded 22 states an “A” for regulations governing telemedicine providers-patient encounters, Vermeulen reported. However, three states — Texas, Alabama and Arkansas — got an F.
The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) has been working with an important bi-partisan coalition that has a goal to bring “21st Century Cures” to the United States. In comments submitted earlier this week to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, ATA recommended that Congress take immediate action to improve coverage for telehealth services under Medicare payment innovations in a number of areas from fee-for-services to Accountable Care Organizations to bundled payment programs.
Medicare will cover remote-patient monitoring of chronic conditions. Previously, Medicare didn’t pay for separately for such services, requiring that such billing be bundled with an “evaluation and management” code,” according to the ATA.
Telemedicine is gaining ground in treating injured workers, especially in rural areas, to speed their evaluation and possibly reduce the costs paid by employers. The costs associated with treating workers in rural areas, in addition to more awareness about telemedicine and increased acceptance of technology, has led the industry to embrace the 40-year-old practice in new ways, said Jonathan Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association in Washington.
These guidelines cover the provision of direct-to-patient, primary and urgent care services delivered by licensed health care providers using real-time, two-way videoconferencing and telephonic technologies. Such technologies include mobile devices such smart phones, laptops, or tablets where regulatory conditions permit.
The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) will host its annual Fall Forum in Palm Desert, Calif., on Sept. 6-9, 2014. The forum will consist of two full days of program related to telehealth in chronic care, a full-day forum focused on telemedicine opportunities in China, and an executive leadership retreat for CEO’s of the world’s leading healthcare technology companies and institutions.