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Telemedicine & Mobile Apps

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Telemedicine technology has the potential to transform health care delivery and address many care coordination challenges facing the U.S. health care system. It can facilitate remote, mobile and site-to-site medical care.

Telemedicine, a key innovation in support of health care delivery reform, is being used in initiatives to improve access to care, care coordination and quality and when properly used has the potential to reduce the rate of growth in health care spending.

Telemedicine

The definition of telemedicine, as well as telehealth, has continued to evolve, and there is no consensus on the definition of either of the 2 terms. Today, there are 3 broad categories of telemedicine technologies:

  1. Store-and-forward
  2. Remote monitoring
  3. (Real-time) interactive services

Working with physicians, legislators and others, the AMA is leading the charge to help ensure that the policies physicians must follow to utilize telemedicine encourages the adoption of telemedicine while protecting patient safety and providing high-quality medical care.

Physician Tools and Resources

Mobile Health

Mobile health apps and associated digital health devices, trackers and sensors can vary greatly in functionality, accuracy, safety and effectiveness. While physicians are optimistic about digital health innovation and its potential medical benefits, mHealth apps and devices that are not safe can pose threats to the health and safety of patients. Recent AMA policy acknowledges the need to expand the evidence base necessary to show the accuracy, effectiveness, safety and security of mHealth apps.

Most recently, the AMA is working with partners to lead the development of guidelines for evaluation of mobile health applications. The industry collaboration, Xcertia, is dedicated to improving the quality, safety and effectiveness of mobile health applications (apps).

State Telemedicine Advocacy

The AMA has initiated a multipronged campaign that provides advocacy materials focused on various telemedicine issues including physician licensure, insurance coverage of telemedicine, and practice issues such as establishment of the patient-physician relationship.

Advocates can utilize these campaign materials to establish safeguards and standards to support the appropriate use of telemedicine while ensuring patient safety, quality of care and the privacy of patient information, supporting the patient-physician relationship and promoting improved care coordination and communication.

Issue Briefs 

Draw on issue briefs and other resources for background on topics related to telemedicine.

Model Bill

Those looking to enact telemedicine legislation in their state can use the following model bill as a starting point in the law-making process.

Other Resources

Telemedicine laws vary from state to state. Learn about telemedicine laws in your state and across the country.

Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

Physicians who treat patients via telemedicine in multiple states must have a medical license from each state. That process will be easier now that the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is in effect. The compact will facilitate a speedier process with fewer administrative burdens for physicians seeking licensure in multiple states.

Issue Briefs

Learn more about the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact and how it can help streamline medical licensure while preserving state authority over the practice of medicine.

Model Bill

Have your state join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact into law by introducing compact legislation in your state. The model legislation, which Federation of State Medical Boards developed, must be adopted without change.

National Telemedicine Advocacy

Contact Information

For more information on the compact or state telemedicine advocacy, please contact Kristin Schleiter, senior legislative attorney, at [email protected].

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