Global Partnership for Telehealth
In January of this year, Forbes magazine ran an article that asked the question: Will 2017 Be the Year of Telemedicine? With the finding solutions to the US healthcare system is in the news daily, telemedicine expansion helps solve some problems of affordability and access and offers the benefits of faster care, convenience and often lower costs.
The field is exploding with interest. Yet, a gap exists between talking about vs. providing telemedicine services. Recently 74% of patients surveyed said they would be open to a virtual telemedicine encounter, yet only 15% of healthcare providers had used telemedicine! Join telemedicine industry expert, Rena Brewer of the Global Partnership for Telehealth to bring us up to
date on telemedicine and what is happening in this rapidly developing arena.
Tanya Mack of Womens Telehealth
Diabetes Telehealth Network
As patients want more control and visibility to their health data and mHealth (mobile health) and
technology are evolving daily, remote patient monitoring has emerged as a viable way to manage chronic diseases, such as diabetes. Remote home monitoring works by collecting health care data at the
patient’s home and then transmitting this data to health care providers in real time to make modifications if needed, avoid unnecessary hospital visits and prevent some serious long term
The University of MS has been one of the nation’s leading telehealth providers logging over 500K patient encounters, covering 35 medical specialties and serving 218 locations statewide. In 2014, the university developed the Diabetes Telehealth Network.
It has been estimated that the cost of diabetes in the US exceeds $2.7B/ yr. Real time insights and the ability to talk to patients remotely can lead to improved patient outcomes. The results of their pilot program have been astounding and now serve as a model for other states with access and limited provider resources to follow.
Join us today as we listen to Michael Adcock, Director of Network Strategies talk about this innovative and effective RPM solution.
Dr. C. Anne Patterson
Maternal Fetal Medicine via Telehealth
Women’s Telehealth’s Tanya Mack, interviews the company’s CEO and Medical Director, Dr. C. Anne Patterson, discussing maternal-fetal medicine as a specialty, and how they are now able to capitalize on telemedicine technology to deliver high-risk maternity care to a wider patient population.
Maternal fetal medicine is rare sub-specialty of obstetrics which delivers high risk obstetric care. These
specialists manage complex complications of pregnancy such as: multiple gestations, chronic medical
conditions during pregnancy, gestational diabetes and fetal abnormalities. The CDC and March of Dimes both estimate that in 2015 in the US, approximately 1:10 babies in the US are born prematurely.
GA ranks 50/50 for maternal death and 42/50 for infant mortality. Getting access to maternal fetal medicine services is often difficult as there are only about 1200 MFM physicians in the US and most are not located in rural areas.
Clearly, there is a need for many physicians of different specialties in rural areas and maternal-fetal medicine is one of them. OB practices and hospitals in these areas can engage with Womens Telehealth to be able to help these patients avoid having to spend long travel times in cars to be seen by these needed specialists. This allows them to stay closer to home and receive care in their local community.
But this solution has value for urban practices as well. There are very few maternal-fetal specialists nationwide—only ~20 or so in Georgia. By deploying the Womens Telehealth solution, these city-based groups and hospitals can also provide access to this specialty care for their patients, preventing potential loss of the patient to other facilities/groups in the community that do have maternal-fetal specialists on campus.
Dr. C. Anne Patterson, CEO/Medical Director, Womens Telehealth
Bill Boling, Mason Reid
Legal Considerations in Telemedicine
This week, Tanya hosted healthcare and telemedicine legal experts, Bill Boling and Mason Reid, of Boling and Company, to talk about legal considerations in telemedicine.
Affordable, quality telemedicine is on almost everyone’s mind! Telemedicine is a tool that is being used more frequently to provide access when and where needed and to decrease costs. One analyst recently predicted that 2020, the telemedicine market would be worth $36B dollars.
Although technology improvements have enable a new generation of telemedicine services, policy makers have been slower to adopt telemedicine. Recently, however, a number of telemedicine related bills have been introduced that could fuel escalated telemedicine adoption by patients, payers and providers.
Bill and Mason discussed such topics as parity law, telemedicine informed consent, provider licensure requirements, telepresenter regulations, provider-patient encounter requirements, security and telemedicine clinical standards of care.
Bill Boling, Founder, Boling and Company
Mason Reid, Associate, Boling and Company
Healthcare attorney, Sidney Welch
We sat down with legal expert on healthcare matters, attorney, Sidney Welch, of the Polsinelli law firm on our monthly episode with Medical Association of Georgia. What is it? How is it utilized? And, what are the licensing, regulatory, and legal concerns around it?
Georgia Composite Medical Board (GCMB) has stressed that it is essential for telemedicine patients in the state to receive the same high standard of care they would in a traditional office setting. GCMB adopted a number of telemedicine rules in 2014 that “allow the Composite Board to take disciplinary action against licensed physicians and allied health professionals who practice telemedicine if they do not provide the minimum standard of care.”
Georgia’s rules require physicians and other allied health care professionals who deliver care by way of telemedicine to…
- Be the ones who provide all of the treatment and/or consultations via telehealth.
- Have access to the patient’s medical history if they are providing the services.
- Have personally seen and examined the patient if they are referring the patient to a telehealth provider.
- Maintain records on the patient’s evaluation and treatment if they are providing a service via telehealth and to provide a copy of those records to the referring physician.
- Provide telehealth services only within their specialty.
- Give their name, credentials and emergency contact information to the patient when they provide a telehealth treatment or consultation.
- Provide the patient with “clear, appropriate, accurate instructions” on follow-up care.
Controlled substances for pain or chronic pain treatment cannot be prescribed through telehealth – but a physician or a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant can order appropriate labs or other diagnostic tests.
The physician who provides the care via telemedicine must make a “diligent” effort to ensure that the patient is seen and examined in person at least once a year by a Georgia-licensed physician or other appropriate health care professional.
Sidney Welch, JD, of Polsinelli