An article in American Medical News recently highlighted the AMA’s push to get separate payment for the care doctors may give patients through “telephone, e-mail, Web portals and other electronic means.”

“We want insurers and Medicare to recognize this is going to be a true form of health care delivery, not just a convenience,” said Barbara L. McAneny, MD, then chair of the AMA Council on Medical Service, whose report the house adopted. “This should be a separately reimbursable and Medicare-payable expense.”

 

Telemedicine has been “on the horizon” for a while now. However, Steve Normandin, president of AMD Global Telemedicine, had some interesting comments in the July Repertoire cover story As Seen on TV:

“I’ve been doing this 20 years, and every year, it’s ‘This is the year,’” says Normandin. “But the industry has made more progress in the last 18 months than in the previous 18 years. You have a new generation of doctors who are much more exposed to technology. All the technology we’re using, 20 years ago was bleeding edge. Now we’re using Skype with our kids.”

 

But will payments catch up with technology? The American Medical News article says that Congress was unlikely to approve money for telemedicine, but some states are making a push, and that may be where the possibilities open up before it goes national.

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