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The use of telehealth/telemedicine to meet patient and provider needs is expanding around the world. Currently, the telemedicine technology market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 18% by 2020.
Some common telehealth/telemedicine services include high-risk obstetrics, dermatology, psychiatry, pain management, sports medicine, and neurology. Almost any area of practice can benefit from the use of telehealth/telemedicine.
While this growth may add a sense of urgency to implement a telehealth/telemedicine program in your practice, it’s important to understand that developing a quality program requires a telehealth champion and a plan.
What do you need to know?
- Health care providers are realizing the value and benefit in caring for patients via telehealth/telemedicine
- Consumers are demanding easier access to health care in the work place and beyond
- Employers are looking for ways to expand access to quality health care while saving money
- Technology is rapidly improving, becoming more mobile and available in remote areas
- Reimbursement is becoming less of a barrier as insurance carriers realize the cost savings and patient satisfaction
- Parity legislation is being approved at both the state and federal levels, which clarifies that telehealth reimbursement is the same as in-person reimbursement
What do you need to consider?
- Is my organization ready and willing to support a telehealth/telemedicine program?
- Does my organization have a telehealth champion?
- Has my organization’s leadership given approval to proceed?
- Does my organization have the people and technology or the ability to acquire these resources to build a successful program?
- What needs will the program meet?
- How can patients be educated about this type of health care delivery?
- Will services be reimbursed?
- How can the most benefit be gained from the investment?
- How is success determined?
- What obstacles will be encountered?
- Are goals and objectives needed?
What do you need to do?
- Identify and benchmark programs similar to your potential program, which can save time and provide useful data
- Organize and document your thoughts and ideas to begin developing a clearer picture of your potential program
- Identify a telehealth champion to help you put the development process in action
Resources to get you started!
- An Introduction to Telehealth (Course Module)
- Telehealth 101 -The Easy Basics of Telehealth & Telemedicine (Webinar)
- Telehealth Case Studies (Video)
- Telehealth Reimbursement (Fact Sheet)
- Telehealth – The Big Picture (Fact Sheet)
- National Telehealth Resource Center Program Development Guides (Web Resource)
- Telehealth Policy for Your State (Web Resource)