Wednesday the American Medical Association formally adopted new telemedicine standards designed to improve patient access to physicians, utilization of telemedicine and assurance of quality and safety standards in health care involving telemedicine. The standards are also aimed at ensuring appropriate insurance coverage of telemedicine services. The standards are based on a policy report from the AMA Council on Medical Services.
The AMA action comes the same week as an impressive cluster of technology giants, tech trade groups, ACOs and ACO trade associations joined together in pressing HHS Secretary Burwell for changes in the ACO program to improve the use of telemedicine and remote patient monitoring. The group coordinated a three-letter plea to the Secretary outlining complaints about existing regulations and suggestions for improvement. One key suggestion is that HHS open a request-for-comment period in the Medicare Shared Savings notice of proposed rule-making.