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Physicians: Mobile Devices Expedite Decision Making

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, September 9, 2010

Physicians said accessing information where and when it is needed is one of their top challenges. One-third said they make decisions based on incomplete information for seven of 10 patients. They also complained that they don't have time to interact with patients as much as they would like, and 45% said that Internet visits would expand access.

One barrier to mobile health may be that in-person consultation is still the main basis of reimbursement in healthcare. Public payers and private health insurers have not pushed for adoption of mobile health, the report says.

That may be because the healthcare industry hasn't figured out how to pay for electronic transactions in the way other industries have, such as for music and video downloads.

This may be changing. Health plans are beginning to pay for remote monitoring devices to help reduce hospital readmissions. Some physicians are now getting limited reimbursement for phone consultations, email consults, telehealth, and texting.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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