Telehealth and Telemedicine: Adopting New Tools of the Trade

September 13, 2013

With millions of people projected to obtain health insurance coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), access to care is expected to be an issue. Efforts to promote telehealth and telemedicine could help.

In addition to electronic health records there is telestroke, teleICU and telepsychiatry. “Robodocs” have attracted recent media attention. Studies have shown these and similar tools to be effective in coordinating care and in saving time and saving lives in areas where access to services is scarce. Also, the Federation of State Medical Boards is formally exploring the creation of “interstate compacts” to increase efficiency in the licensing of physicians who practice in multiple states.

The development of these new technologies and others that promise to enhance access to care, improve the quality of care and contain costs has been supported by previous legislation. Though the technology revolution has arrived on the health care scene, the challenge remains of taking these newly developed tools and widely disseminating their use.

Is there regional variation in the adoption and use of telemedicine tools? What might help to spread their adoption? Is there a difference among Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance payment policies? How much does state and local legislation/regulation come into play? What about provider credentialing and privileging?

A distinguished panel of experts addressed these and related questions.

Sherilyn Pruitt, director of the federal Office for the Advancement of Telehealth, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), will provided an overview of HRSA’s grant programs and how these support provisions in the ACA.

Neal Neuberger, executive director, Institute for e-health Policy, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), provided an overview, define telehealth and telemedicine and talk about legislative provisions that promote their development.

Karen Rheuban, director, Center for Telehealth, University of Virginia Office of Telemedicine, discussed the extensive network of comprehensive telehealth services at UVA.

John Jesser, senior vice president at WellPoint, discussed the telehealth tools and gadgets that WellPoint uses in partnership with American Well, and what it would take to move adoption forward across providers and regions.

Ed Howard of the Alliance moderated the discussion.

Contact: Marilyn Serafini 202/789-2300

The event was sponsored by the nonpartisan Alliance for Health Reform and Wellpoint.


Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Speaker Presentations

John Jesser Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Neal Neuberger Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Sherilyn Pruitt Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Karen Rheuban Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Event Details

Agenda (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Event Resources