Should hospitals who use telemedicine technologies be compensated for revenues lost because of reduced admissions and ED visits?

| November 8, 2009

That proposition is set forth in a column over at iHealthBeat by Protima Advani, Practice Manager for the IT Insights program at the Advisory Board Company:

“Needless to say, more than just federal grants are needed to drive growth in telemedicine programs. Changes in reimbursement and legal policies will greatly determine whether telemedicine programs flourish.

From a financial perspective, hospitals should not only be reimbursed by all payers for these services, but more importantly, they also should be compensated for revenues lost because of reduced admissions and ED visits. Hospitals should receive additional incentives for improving care through telemedicine.”

Certainly puts a stake between the dual aims of most telemedicine solutions, including remote monitoring — to improve and extend care while reducing costs. Compensating hospitals for the revenues they lose from preventive medicine certainly takes a bite out of those cost savings, but as Advanti notes it may help incentivize them to adopt these technologies. Advanti also proposes a specific way to incentivize hospitals to adopt new, cutting-edge telemedicine technologies:

“Furthermore, emerging telemedicine solutions should be eligible for CMS’ Coverage with Evidence Development, or CED, program where hospitals are reimbursed for using cutting-edge devices and technologies in care delivery in exchange for allowing CMS to collect data to determine the technology’s efficacy. Such a policy would not only accelerate adoption of new telemedicine applications but would also spur innovations in care delivery.”

Read Advanti’s full column over at iHealthBeat.

Category: TeleHealth

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