New telehealth gadgets and applications are popping up every day, but physicians are usually still left with the same old questions about them: Do they work? Will I get sued? And can I get paid?
The answers to those questions may be coming as soon as Thursday in the form of a new physician payment schedule, according to a panel by the Internet Innovation Alliance. And if it answers the outlying questions satisfactorily, panelists said 2018 could become the year when telemedicine moves into the mainstream.
“This has been an incredible year for digital medicine,” said Sylvia Trujillo, senior Washington counsel at the American Medical Association, during the panel. “It will likely go down in the books as the turning point for digital transformations, in my opinion.”
Trujillo pointed to pending changes in the physician fee schedule, more flexibility at the Department of Veterans Affairs to bring virtual care into patients’ homes, and new laws lifting restrictions around Medicare reimbursement for telehealth.