Bipartisan legislation promotes safe and secure delivery of healthcare through technology
BOSTON, Dec. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Well® today applauded Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Congressman Bill Johnson (R-OH) for their commitment to bridging critical gaps in healthcare by introducing the Telehealth Modernization Act of 2013 (H.R. 3750). The legislation provides much needed assistance to states seeking to develop telehealth policies key to the provision of virtual healthcare.
Telehealth, the practice of bringing healthcare providers and patients together virtually, is becoming a widely accepted practice across the United States. By removing barriers such as provider shortages, distance, mobility and time constraints, telehealth is invaluable in helping to resolve our nation's greatest healthcare challenges.
"We commend Congresswoman Matsui and Congressman Johnson for their leadership in embracing the promise of telehealth," said Roy Schoenberg, MD, MPH, CEO of American Well Systems. "This legislation is a bold step towards a reality where all patients can receive quality care irrespective of time and place and where technology can reach its full potential in bringing healthcare to every American."
The Telehealth Modernization Act promotes the proliferation of telehealth technologies by offering states consistent and clear definitions and principles they can look to for guidance when developing new policies that govern telehealth. There currently exists an inconsistent and often dated patchwork of state laws which have inhibited the deployment of telehealth in both the private and public sectors. The legislation respects current state rules around the practice of medicine, while acknowledging an increasing number of states are currently considering the issue of modernizing telehealth practice.
The bill's principles are consistent with the standard of care for in-person healthcare services, which will ensure the safe and secure deployment and utilization of telehealth, including:
- Establishing Relationships: The fundamental patient-provider relationship can be preserved, established and augmented through the use of telehealth;
- Informed Care: A healthcare professional should have access to and review the medical history of the individual he or she is treating via telehealth;
- Documentation: A healthcare professional should document the evaluation and any treatment furnished to the patient, as well as generate a medical record of the telehealth encounter;
- Continuity of Care: Telehealth technology platforms should allow each patient the ability to forward documentation to selected care providers to uphold the patient's continuity of care;
- Prescription Requirements: Prescriptions provided by telehealth providers should be issued for a legitimate medical purpose only and be filled by a valid dispensing entity.
"Telehealth offers a vital tool in addressing the balancing act between increasing access to efficient quality care, and reducing spiraling costs," said Dr. Peter Antall, Medical Director, Online Care Group. "These technologies reverse the longstanding paradigm of placing the burden on patients to seek care where it's physically available by bringing quality healthcare directly to them."
The Online Care Group is a physician-owned primary and urgent care group devoted to video telehealth.
About American Well
American Well is a telehealth services company that brings healthcare into the homes and workplaces of patients. The Company's web and mobile telehealth platform connects patients and clinicians for live, clinically meaningful visits through video, secure text chat and phone. American Well is a registered trademark of American Well Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks used are the property of their respective owners. For more information visit www.americanwell.com.
Julie Sculley or Dave McKee
SOURCE American Well