Telemedicine Accreditation?

ft

And this is how it starts. Some bogus organization tries to gain credibility and subsequently creates a new “program” and “guidelines” for doctors to follow:

In an effort to build confidence in the growing telemedicine industry and to set down meaningful applications for consumers and physicians, the American Telemedicine Association is working toward an autumn launch of an accreditation program for primary care and urgent care. The guidelines reflect an industry navigating between wanting to expand its use as well as setting parameters for it.

Are you kidding me?  I have been answering patients phone calls for twenty years and soon I will have to pass another test because it now includes video?  Here are some other garbage highlights from this piece with my thoughts in parenthesis:

  • The program is needed to help consumers make good choices and to reassure patients that online medical consultations are convenient and safe. (Remember, if you say that it is “all about the patients” then anything after that has to be true.  It is called using the patient card.)
  • Broadly, the guidelines spell out that telemedicine in primary care settings should treat uncomplicated conditions or be used for simple or routine follow-up for patients with underlying chronic conditions. (You mean I can’t treat chest pain or a stroke via telemedicine?)
  • For example, although primary care telemedicine sessions might begin with people who are mildly ill, that could quickly worsen depending on the condition. (Duh.  Really?)

The a really stupid article about a really stupid premise but doesn’t mean it won’t gain traction.  I predict a movement for another test for us to pass and more money for us to pay so that we can be certified to use FaceTime with a patient.  You heard it here first.

 

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