Essential Guide

Guide: Telemedicine benefits held back by lack of reimbursements

Telemedicine can extend the reach of specialists, but some primary care providers are concerned it could encroach on their in-person practices and not offer enough in the way of reimbursements.


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.


The latest in telemedicine

One of the primary benefits of telemedicine for patients is convenience. This section covers how providers are using telemedicine to communicate with and treat patients without requiring them to leave home. Also, the president-elect of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) offers his thoughts on the future of the technology.

Photo Story

New telehealth services and devices from ATA 2016

At ATA 2016, advanced telehealth services, devices and systems command the show floor. SearchHealthIT editors selected some of the coolest. Continue Reading


Telemedicine plagued by EHR issues

Find out why EHRs' lack of interoperability is holding telemedicine back. Continue Reading


Vendors team up to power California telehealth

The California Telehealth Network is using video conferencing to provide care for patients statewide. Continue Reading


ATA president-elect talks telemedicine benefits

In this Q&A, the president-elect of the ATA projects future problems and opportunities for telemedicine. Continue Reading


Providers seeking faster communication

Providers who are looking for faster ways to communicate with patients are turning to telemedicine solutions. Continue Reading


Telemedicine may aid physician shortage

Certain conditions must be met in order for telemedicine to affect the dwindling number of primary care physicians. Continue Reading


Veterans Affairs department expanding telemedicine program

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' telemedicine project aims to educate physicians and treat patients. Continue Reading


UPMC taking a global approach to telemedicine

One hospital is using technology as a way to spread specialized care to those in need. Continue Reading


Colorado HIE working for wider telemedicine availability

Two healthcare agencies in Colorado made rural providers the focal point in establishing their plan for a statewide broadband connection. Continue Reading


Vendors require healthcare knowledge to pitch telemedicine

See why selling telemedicine technology takes more than a good product. Continue Reading

2Features and Tips-

How 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.


Telemedicine moving into primary care

Reimbursements are the last obstacle holding back widespread use of telemedicine. That barrier is in the process of being broken down. Continue Reading


Off-hours clinics save time for patients

The benefits of telemedicine are clear, but some providers fear the technology will take away their business. Continue Reading


CMS, insurers considering telemedicine reimbursements

The benefits of telemedicine are outweighed by a lack of reimbursement payments. Continue Reading


Telemedicine helping pediatric care

Find out why parents are the biggest supporters of pediatric care via telemedicine. Continue Reading


Telephony part of a unified communication system

Physician-to-physician communication has become more convenient due to the rise in telecommunications options. Continue Reading


HIPAA compliance complicated by telemedicine

New mHealth technology is opening up new avenues for potential HIPAA violations. Continue Reading


Telemedicine panel offers implementation tips

Planning should top technology for providers who are considering purchasing a telehealth service. Continue Reading

3Podcasts and expert advice-

More 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.


SearchHealthIT staff talks ATA 2013

In this podcast, hear our staff discuss the state of telemedicine and what strategies they think facilities will employ as the technology changes. Continue Reading


Intermountain's open source telemedicine software

Read why one hospital system is creating telemedicine software, the profits of which will end up funding the U.S. healthcare system. Continue Reading


Mercy Health's telemedicine initiative

A hospital chain is making plans to use its telemedicine product to treat patients in its own facilities. Continue Reading


Remote visits can improve physician and patient communication

Learn more about how video conferencing allows physicians to stay one step ahead in their treatment plan. Continue Reading


How to increase telemedicine reimbursement

Experts provide insight on how to overcome the complexity of telemedicine coding and billing. Continue Reading

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