Telemedicine’s role in healthcare delivery is rapidly evolving. Laws, physician’s codes and payer policies are changing all the time. It can be difficult to keep up. In addition to this blog, there are some organizations and very useful online resources that can help keep you apprised of this shifting landscape. Here are a few that we find very informative.
American Telemedicine Association
The American Telemedicine Association is an international resource and advocate promoting the use of advanced remote medical technologies. ATA and its membership work to integrate telemedicine into transformed healthcare systems to improve quality, equity and affordability of healthcare throughout the world. Their website includes general information on telemedicine as well as reports that identify and compare state policies on a report card. Each state is assigned a gade ranging from A through F based on telemedicine reimbursement and physician practice standards.
The Center for Connected Health Policy
The Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) is a public interest organization that develops and advances telehealth policy solutions to promote improvements in health and healthcare systems. Originally focused exclusively on California telehealth policy, CCHP produced the Telehealth Model Statute Report, which became the basis for the Telehealth Advancement Act of 2011. This Act now allows all licensed health professionals to utilize telehealth, removes restrictions and barriers to providing telehealth, and expands the locations where telehealth can take place. Their website provides an overview of telemedicine and the laws surrounding it. It also gives detailed information about laws and policies by state.
Medicaid.gov is brought to you by the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS), one of six Centers within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). CMCS serves as the focal point for all national program policies and operations related to Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the Basic Health Program (BHP). Medicaid.com is a helpful guide to everything related to Medicaid eligibility, coverage and cost sharing. The site contains information specific to telemedicine, including Medicaid’s definition of key terms and links to state resources.
Telehealth Resource Centers
Telehealth Resource Centers (TRCs) have been established to provide assistance, education and information to organizations and individuals who are actively providing or interested in providing remote care. Their charter from the Office for Advancement of Telehealth is to assist in expanding of the availability of health care to underserved populations. TRCs are funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Office for the Advancement of Telehealth, which is part of the Office of Rural Health Policy. Their website provides helpful information about reimbursement, training and program development.
These resources are all valuable sources for healthcare providers who are ready to explore the use of telemedicine in their own practices.