How Telemedicine Is Transforming Health Care

By MELINDA BECKColumnist, The Wall Street Journal.

After years of big promises, telemedicine is finally living up to its potential.

Driven by faster internet connections, ubiquitous smartphones and changing insurance standards, more health providers are turning to electronic communications to do their jobs—and it’s upending the delivery of health care.

Doctors are linking up with patients by phone, email and webcam. They’re also consulting with each other electronically—sometimes to make split-second decisions on heart attacks and strokes. Patients, meanwhile, are using new devices to relay their blood pressure, heart rate and other vital signs to their doctors so they can manage chronic conditions at home.

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DermUtopia Named a Top Telemedicine Site

You know you should see a dermatologist for rashes, moles, acne, and other skin conditions. However, fitting a visit to the dermatologist into your busy schedule can be difficult. Telemedicine is making it easier for people to receive care for their skin conditions.

Telemedicine allows you to visit the dermatologist quickly and for a relatively low cost. You can have a doctor review your skin condition without leaving your home. Simply submit a list of your symptoms and photos of the affected area through your computer, smartphone, or tablet. In most cases, you’ll hear back with a treatment plan within a few days.

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Ready for Takeoff?

Excerpt from Dermatology World – April 2015:

While 90 percent of respondents reported that their organizations have already begun developing or implementing a telemedicine program, 41 percent said their organizations do not receive any reimbursement for these services. Twenty percent of executives reported receiving lower rates from managed care companies for telemedicine than in-person visits. Medicare’s thin coverage practices for telemedicine were the biggest reimbursement concern for 21 percent of respondents while 18 percent said they were most uneasy about state laws failing to mandate that commercial companies pay for such services.

That is the same message Brenda Dintiman, MD, a dermatologist from Fairfax, Virginia who testified as a small practitioner on behalf of the AAD, delivered before the House Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology.

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