Hale says the reimbursement challenges are likely to remain until healthcare has made a full transition from volume to value. "If payment methodologies were different, telemedicine would be exploding,"
"Fee-for-service is a 'feed-the-beast model'; population health management is a 'grow the village' model. What we will see over time is the breaking of that barrier," he says.
Virtual Doc Visits Under Fire
Yet another challenge to telemedicine is the concern that a virtual visit lacks the same quality as an in-person visit. Really? Have you been to the doctor lately? A quick 10–15 minute visit isn't what I, or most physicians, for that matter consider high quality care.
For organizations leery of taking the plunge into telemedicine for fear that patients won't like it, Hale says relax.
"In my experience, patients are very accepting," says Hale. But he cautions that there is a need to train physicians on making sure that the patient's experience is good.