Health care providers are actively pursuing telemedicine advancements despite reimbursement and regulatory challenges, according to a new survey of senior health care executives released today by Foley & Lardner LLP.
“The reimbursement landscape is already changing, and there are many viable options for getting compensated for practicing telemedicine,” said Larry Vernaglia, chair of Foley’s Health Care Practice. “The smartest thing organizations can do now is to continue developing programs, and be ready for the law to catch up -- because it will.”
The survey asked senior executives of for-profit and non-profit health care providers about the future of telemedicine and how their organizations are navigating regulatory and reimbursement hurdles, as well as other barriers to widespread adoption of telemedicine. Key findings in the 2014 Telemedicine Survey Report include:
Executives are Embracing Telemedicine
Industry leaders believe telemedicine has arrived. Why? For the majority of respondents, it’s simple – they believe telemedicine will keep patients healthier.
Nine out of 10 report that their organizations have already begun developing or implementing a telemedicine program 84% say that offering meaningful telemedicine services will be central to the success of their organizations. The majority of respondents already offer remote patient monitoring services (64%), store and forward technology (54%) and real-time interaction capabilities (52%).
The Affordable Care Act is Driving Telemedicine Advancements
As health care providers move from a fee-for-service model to one that reimburses based on positive patient outcomes, executives face increased financial pressure to keep patients healthy. Given that the Affordable Care Act penalizes hospitals for excessive numbers of readmissions and hospital-acquired conditions, remote touch points may be more profitable.
50% of respondents said the potential to improve quality of care was the primary motivator in adopting telemedicine. 18% ranked reaching new patients as their top motivation, demonstrating the potential for telemedicine to counsel and treat patients despite their physical location.
“In the post-Obamacare paradigm, providers bear a much greater responsibility for the sustained wellness of their patients,” said Nathaniel Lacktman, a partner and health care lawyer at Foley. “Telemedicine offers new ways for providers to manage this new level of risk and keep their patients healthy, happy and out of the hospital.”
Reimbursement is the Primary Obstacle to Implementation
Leaders were less confident about telemedicine’s imminent adoption, primarily due to reimbursement issues. Regulators and insurers have made it challenging to get paid for medicine practiced outside of traditional interactions. 41% of respondents said they do not get reimbursed at all for telemedicine services 21% reported receiving lower rates from managed care companies for telemedicine than for in-person care Nearly half (48%) expressed concern about educating physicians on telemedicine as a credible avenue for care
Latest from Healthcare Technology Magazine
- Philips Debuts New Cloud-Based Clinical Analytics Dashboard To Enhance Patient Care And Staff Efficiency In Critical Care
- Mayo Clinic Reports Strong Performance in 2015
- Redox Extends Capabilities of Salesforce Health Cloud with Patient Data from Electronic Medical Records
- Divurgent Appoints Bert Reese Vice President, Portfolio Management and Innovation
- Sharp To Showcase Solutions At Healthcare Information And Management Systems Society Annual Conference
- Emanate Wireless Launches PowerPath Temp, Revolutionizes Healthcare Refrigeration Monitoring
- Mission Health Selects PeraHealth To Enhance Clinical Surveillance, Patient Safety
- UPMC Partners with Vivify Health for Mobile Population Health and Chronic Care Management
- Philips And Allianz Worldwide Partners Launch Connected Health Solution And Services In Germany
- Philips Enters New Agreement On Patient Monitoring Systems And Software With The Stockholm County Council