As many initiatives for improving health care access, quality and costs emerge, perhaps the diamond in the rough is—telemedicine. Dietitians are already participating in telemedicine in a variety of ways—and the potential growth is at a peak. Consider the following areas which support the adoption of telemedicine:
- Twelve (12) states now mandate that telemedicine be covered by insurance companies.
- The FCC released plans last week to provide $400 million annually for Broadband access for over 2,000 rural hospitals and clinics who will benefit from broadband networks to improve health care and reduce costs.
- A new proposed rule would create “Privileging by Proxy” which would allow a telemedicine “accepting hospital” to accept the privileges of providers the distant hospital approves. (Requirements are facilities have to be Joint Commission approved and receive Medicare/Medicaid.) This would provide an easier access for providers to cross state lines without the usual requirements of professional licensure.