Arizona Telemedicine Blog Book - Page 26

Telemedicine Services: Now the Leading Edge By N a n cy Row e o n January 15, 2015 “What was the single most important development in telemedicine, telehealth and/or teleradiology in 2014?” T hat question was just posed by a colleague in an email to several telemedicine industry leaders. To me, the most important development was the burgeoning of the service provider market. Healthcare systems, hospitals, private practices, nursing homes and other entities are looking more and more to outside companies to provide medical services for their patients via telemedicine technology. Telemedicine Services and Providers Telemedicine can provide needed services—such as stroke, cardiology, and burn specialists—to small communities, broaden the reach of healthcare systems by broadening their offerings, provide local backup coverage and after-hours access, and improve convenience for patients who no longer have to travel outside their communities for specialty care. It improves patient outcomes and provider bottom lines. And it’s not only healthcare providers that are benefiting: Schools, employers, insurers, correctional facilities, and patients themselves are seeking services through telemedicine. I count nearly 120 commercial providers of medical subspecialty and ancillary services via telemedicine technology who market their services to healthcare providers and other entities, and the field keeps growing. Nationwide, well-established, commercial firms are being joined by startups, academic programs and large, integrated healthcare systems that are marketing their services outside their own networks. Partnering with a Provider Why partner? It can be a lot easier to partner with a company that will provide medical services via telemedicine technology than to start your own program. With a partner, you don’t have to worry about physician recruitment and 26 retention and you often don’t have to worry about installing and maintaining equipment, either. Provider companies often will have the experience and exp