Health IT CEO: Physicians Shouldn’t Wait to Be Reimbursed Before Offering Telehealth

Screen Shot 2013-05-06 at 2.55.48 PMTelehealth is seen as an expedient way to improve access to healthcare through telephone calls to email and video interactions to support health education for patients and professionals, long distance clinical healthcare and public health.

But one reason why the process of rolling out telehealth is taking longer than some would like is it’s not yet widely re-imbursed. Part of the reason for that is shown by this interactive map, illustrating which states have passed telehealth legislation, the states with pending legislation and the states where it’s not on the table.

In order to shake things up, Netspective CEO, health IT consultant and avid blogger Shahid Shah says providers need to stop waiting and adopt the technology.

“We really need physicians and hospitals to say — ‘I won’t wait to be reimbursed because these technologies are so useful,’” Shah said. “Asking people to come in for their care is just as silly as asking people to come to a bookstore to buy a book.”

There are lots of pilot programs using telehealth but beyond the states where legislation has been passed it’s not part of mainstream care offered by private insurers.

Shah, who is speaking at Health:Refactored later this month, envisions these adopters as the technical leaders. They won’t necessarily be large providers.

“In healthcare we wait until people tell us it’s OK to use technology. But there’s a shadow IT movement in all kinds of institutions (ie: Bring Your Own Device). The days of doctors and nurses who are digital natives waiting around for CIOs to give them digital solutions are long

This article was originally published on MEDCITY News, May 3, 2013. Shahid Shah, a HIT strategist and author, will debunk “The Myth of Complex Health Data Integration” in the Dreaming of Data: Big, Open, & Interoperable session at Health:Refactored, May 13. 

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