Although telemedicine is getting more popular with the day, it’s not easy for providers to get paid for it.
According to a recent survey by the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine, just 19% of healthcare practitioners have a mechanism to get paid for these services. A majority, 56% of those polled also said telemedicine technology is ahead of the current state medical board guidelines.
Nonetheless, healthcare professionals are embracing the technology with 67% of those surveyed either using telemedicine to provide services now, or planning to in the next few years.
A majority, 56% of those polled also said telemedicine technology is ahead of the current state medical board guidelines.Another 38% said they are offering care through either the phone, video visits or web cam visits, while 29% said they were planning on doing so in the next few years. The majority (68%) think telemedicine is best used for follow-up visits versus the first visit.
The poll consisted of 754 healthcare practitioners, 78% of whom are physicians.
“When we have technology that can drive down the cost of health, and help improve patient outcomes, providers need to be reimbursed,” said Nick Jacobs, a board member of AIHM. “In this case, 33 percent of physicians are delivering service using telemedicine right now, yet just 19 percent say the service is covered… We need to open up all the options for healthcare to providers and patients. It drives down costs and improves patient outcomes.”