Federal Changes to Improve Telemedicine Promised at ATA Policy Summit

Expect big things for telemedicine policy this year. That was the message from speakers the ATA Federal Telemedicine Policy Summit, held last week in Washington, DC. The event, organized by the American Telemedicine Association, revealed growing federal support for telemedicine services and technologies.

It featured an impressive line-up of speakers, including members of Congress, officials from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Communications Commission and the Food and Drug Administration, as well as an array of leading patient and provider advocates.

Over 250 attendees from across the spectrum of healthcare and technology participated in the event. “The Summit set a new standard, both in terms of the high profile of the speakers, as well as overall attendance,” said Ed Brown, MD, President of the American Telemedicine Association. “I think this reflects a growing realization—both within government and outside the beltway—that telemedicine is a vital component for quality, accessible and cost-effective healthcare.” For the first time, leaders from both sides of the aisle, agency officials and representatives from consumer and industry groups expressed a strong consensus that the federal government should do more to support the deployment of telemedicine and mHealth.

Despite their differing political ideologies and interests, there was a clear consensus amongst Summit speakers about this opinion as well as shared strategies for achieving their common objective. Complete program information from the ATA Federal Telemedicine Policy Summit is available at: http://www.americantelemed.org/summit. “This is a real paradigm shift for telemedicine,” said Jonathan Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association. “ATA is no longer the lone voice advocating for telemedicine; now we’re coordinating public and private stakeholders and leading a broad coalition for the improvement of healthcare through telemedicine. This development bids well, both for our industry and, more importantly, for patients across America who will benefit from telemedicine technologies.”

The American Telemedicine Association is the leading international resource and advocate promoting the use of advanced remote medical technologies. ATA and its diverse membership work to fully integrate telemedicine into healthcare systems to improve quality, equity and affordability of healthcare throughout the world. Established in 1993, ATA is headquartered in Washington, DC. For more information, please visit http://www.americantelemed.org.

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