The State of Telemedicine: ATA 2014

Last month, the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) hosted its annual conference in Baltimore. Here are a few takeaways we garnered from the various sessions:

  • Consumer demand and increased production of mobile devices are the two key factors driving growth in telemedicine.
  • The combination of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), an aging population, a provider shortage and increasing costs has also increased the demand for telemedicine.
  • Factors that lead to successful telemedicine are:
  • A confidential environment
    • Agreeable patients
    • Patients with sufficient sensory ability
    • Making telemedicine part of routine care
    • Meeting onsite for distribution of controlled substances or prescriptions
  • Common challenges to telemedicine programs include scheduling, firewalls and outdated or incompatible technology.
  • The Veteran’s Association (VA) heavily supports telemedicine. They developed a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) iPhone app called PTSD Coach to help veterans work through PTSD after patients kept asking for easier access to support.
  • Laws and policy are lagging in both the credentialing and reimbursement of telemedicine practitioners. Only 30 states are truly embracing telemedicine and require parity.

If you attended the show and took away different points, let us know what you think in the Comments below.

For a detailed account of the sessions and speakers featured at the conference, as well as the opportunity to listen to session recordings for free, click here.