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Report Card: Most Improved A+

ATA’s Annual Reports Reveal Growth in Telemedicine Adoption

Last week, the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) issued its yearly reports of telemedicine coverage, reimbursement, and standards across the country. In general, telemedicine has consistently become an accepted tool by patients, providers, and third-party payers in all states, with improved coverage and reimbursement in several states. Some state legislatures are removing restrictive requirements for physician practice standards, even allowing them to practice telemedicine across state lines. Read more

Stethoscope and gavel

Telemedicine Legislation Heartily Embraced by Senate

A telemedicine initiative from New Mexico may soon become a nationwide program. Earlier this week, the Senate unanimously approved the Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes (ECHO) Act, which champions the system developed five years ago at the University of New Mexico (UNM) to increase access to specialists in rural, underserved regions. Read more

Gavel on open book

AMA Endorses Telemedicine Bill

Consumers aren’t the only ones who are clamoring for the more convenient healthcare—it seems that doctors are, too. On February 3, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced its support for the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act, a telemedicine bill that aims to increase patients’ access to providers and reduce healthcare costs. Read more

stethoscope laying on keyboard

Establishing Telemedicine as a Tool through Legislation

As we face a future filled with increasing health care needs and a predicted shortage of physicians, it becomes clear that the old paradigm of medicine—namely, time-consuming office visits—will no longer suffice. Newer technologies, such as telemedicine, have the ability to address these needs by offering high-quality, cost-effective, and time-efficient care—but only if we allow it.

Unfortunately, science and patient demands evolve more quickly than legislation, and our current structure is hindering a more widespread and effective use of telemedicine. Read more