SAN JOSE, Calif., April 25, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Telemedicine, once a specialty niche, is quickly becoming a new standard of care for hospitals and healthcare providers across America. Driven by patient demand and an imperative to improve healthcare quality and accessibility, telemedicine is now a near-requirement for modern medical institutions. Organizations not adopting these technologies expose themselves to declining clinical outcomes, loss of market-share and potential litigation.
"You can no longer afford to ignore telemedicine or offer it only as a peripheral service," said Jon Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association. "Providers that don't integrate telemedicine into their delivery models are limiting patient access to the best on-demand care possible. They are also losing out to their competitors who are using the technology to improve care, reduce costs and expand their markets."
The importance of telemedicine as a standard of care is evident in several areas:
- Increased patient demand for telemedicine. According to ATA over 10 million Americans are now directly benefitting from telemedicine each year.
- State mandates for insurance coverage of telehealth services. 15 states have now passed laws requiring private payers to cover services provided via telemedicine. The foundation for this legislation is that patients should receive the best care, regardless of whether an on-site provider is available.
- A growing standard of care: Practically every hospital in the country uses telemedicine to assure 24/7 access to professional radiology services. Similar use is now growing for many other specialty services. So it is not surprising that patient and consumer groups are starting to expect such access everywhere. In fact, several recent lawsuits (that were later settled out of court) were filed against hospitals for not providing telemedicine services.
Organizations and individuals interested in learning more about telemedicine are encouraged to attend the ATA 2012 Annual Meeting, April 29-May 1, 2012 in San Jose, California. ATA 2012 is the world's largest telemedicine, telehealth and mHealth event, with 450 presentations and an exhibit hall with 200 product and service vendors. This year, over 4,500 healthcare professionals—clinicians, administrators, entrepreneurs, IT specialists, engineers and more—are expected to attend. Free passes for the ATA 2012 Exhibit Hall are available. For more information, visit www.ATA2012.com.
The American Telemedicine Association is the leading resource and advocate promoting the use of advanced remote medical technologies. ATA and its diverse membership work to fully integrate telemedicine into healthcare systems to improve quality, equity and affordability of healthcare throughout the world. Established in 1993, ATA is headquartered in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.americantelemed.org.
Senior Director of Communications
American Telemedicine Association
SOURCE American Telemedicine Association