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Guide: Telemedicine benefits held back by lack of reimbursements

Last updated:August 2013

Editor's note

Telemedicine brings care into patient's homes or remote physician offices through physician video conferencing. When primary care physicians can communicate with and remotely observe a patient's condition, it can reduce the number of unnecessary emergency room visits. It can also extend the reach of in-demand specialists. These two main benefits of telemedicine technology save time and money for both patient and provider.

This guide explores how providers are leveraging the capabilities of the technology to benefit practices and better serve patients. It also examines telemedicine innovations that may change the future of the healthcare industry. Despite its ability to deliver specialized care to patients, telemedicine isn't without detractors. Reimbursement payments for telemedicine use haven't been as plentiful as they are for other healthcare technology, such as EHRs. Some providers are also wary that their businesses will lose customers as patients move to the more on-demand care plan provided by telemedicine.

1How telemedicine benefits providers

Some providers are wary of telemedicine moving into primary care. This section explores that idea, as well as why parents are encouraged by the use of telemedicine in pediatrics. Finally, a panel of experts offers advice on how to evaluate and shop for telemedicine products.

2More telemedicine advice and opinions

SearchHealthIT's Don Fluckinger was present at the ATA's 2013 annual meeting and spoke with several industry experts while at the conference. He also talked with two healthcare professionals about how their organization's innovations could shape the future of telemedicine. Here, Don shares what he learned.

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