For decades, telemedicine has long been associated with patients who are far, far away: Native Americans in Alaska, workers on oil rigs, scientists in Antarctica or astronauts in space. Numerous roadblocks—chief among them reimbursement, physician licensure, clinical workflows, infrastructure costs and unclear value propositions—have, for the most part, hindered telemedicine’s advance into regular care delivery.
However, 2013 may be the year that the healthcare industry begins to move from isolated pilot programs to more widespread use of telemedicine.
It’s not just that the technology is cheaper and easier to use, either. Washington, D.C. is taking notice. The Obama administration’s healthcare reform law emphasizes coordinated, accountable care—in which telemedicine can play an important part—while proposed legislation from U.S. Rep. Michael Thompson (D-Calif.) would remove many of the bureaucratic barriers that hinder telemedicine’s spread. ===>Continue Reading