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AUSTIN, Texas -- Implementing telemedicine projects might make some sense, particularly for Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare, a system of 22 hospitals. As a system that is itself a payer, developing remote access to care for patients and providers allows it to sidestep some of the fee-for-service issues that telemedicine services run into across regions and states.
Still, because Intermountain Healthcare provides services for patients of many other public and commercial payers, it remains beholden to the same reimbursement barriers that smaller health systems are. So why is Intermountain sinking $25 million into an open source telemedicine software development project it will eventually donate to the U.S. healthcare system and the vendors who cater to it?
In this podcast from the American Telemedicine Association 2013 annual meeting, Wesley Valdes, D.O., telehealth services medical director, explains the direction the health system hopes to take. He also talks about the logistical difficulties of shoehorning current technology into real-life workflows, and explains why a virtual neonatal intensive care unit is well worth the effort.