Washington D.C. — The Physicians Foundation, American Medical Association, Florida Medical Association, Massachusetts Medical Society and Texas Medical Association, today announced the launch of The Telehealth Initiative, which helps physicians implement telehealth services. With the current COVID-19 crisis, the organizations moved up the Initiative’s launch to support physicians in their shift to telehealth models as a means to reduce exposure and minimize surges in care facilities.

The current COVID-19 crisis reinforces the need for physician access to practical resources that will enable them to operate telehealth services efficiently while facilitating positive care team and patient experiences. Through The Telehealth Initiative, physicians are able to participate in immersive evidence-based coaching that will help improve patient access, experience and outcomes while maintaining continuity of care when fully implemented.

The program helps participating physicians redesign their practices to successfully provide telehealth services to their patients. Additionally, the Initiative is providing free, online access to resources to encourage all physicians to consider telehealth services in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth will help physicians respond to surges in sick patients needing care and protect non-infected patients with other acute or chronic conditions from potential exposure to the virus. Resources available include:

The Telehealth Initiative organizational leaders shared the following:

  • “With our health care system confronting COVID-19’s unprecedented toll on the world, medical expertise is critical to flattening the curve and saving lives. Telehealth allows us to reach more patients while protecting our health care workforce,” said Gary Price, M.D., president of The Physicians Foundation. “In this time of uncertainty, The Physicians Foundation and our partners are committed to bringing together medical organizations across the country to put practical resources and tools in the hands of all physicians, so they are able to remain on the frontlines of protecting healthy people and treating those infected with COVID-19.”

 

  • “The use of telemedicine and remote care services are critical to the safe management of the COVID-19 pandemic, while also ensuring uninterrupted care for 100 million Americans with chronic conditions,” said Patrice A. Harris, M.D., M.A., president of the American Medical Association (AMA). “The AMA strongly encourages the adoption of telemedicine as a responsible way for physicians to meet anticipated demands for care and treatment. The AMA also successfully advocated for revised federal policies that provide physicians with the maximum flexibility they need to provide remote care services. We applaud the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for taking these important steps. The AMA stands ready to help physicians with resources that provide physicians with a proven path for integrating telemedicine and digital health technologies into patient care.”

 

  • “Telehealth will help Florida physicians provide more options for their patients and improve access to medical care in our state,” said Ronald Giffler, M.D., J.D., M.B.A., president of the Florida Medical Association (FMA). “The FMA is excited to be part of this initiative, which will allow us to better serve our members in a dynamic health care environment.”
     
  • "The Massachusetts Medical Society is proud to partner with like-minded organizations to take a leadership role in educating our physician colleagues and accelerating the pace of adoption and implementation of telemedicine in healthcare so that appropriate care can be provided conveniently and safely for all patients,” said Maryanne C. Bombaugh, M.D., president of the Massachusetts Medical Society.

 

  • “Physicians know how important it is for us to give our patients the option of obtaining safe, high-quality medical care digitally,” said David C. Fleeger, M.D., president of the Texas Medical Association (TMA). “TMA wants to provide tools and pragmatic guidance for physicians, so that we can embrace telemedicine and appropriately offer it to our existing patients and maintain continuity of care. The generous grant from The Physicians Foundation allows TMA to accelerate our work and get this information to physicians quickly, which is vital as we see COVID-19 take its grip on the public’s daily routine.”

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Robert J. Mills

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About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.