Telemedicine is one of the fastest growing methods of healthcare in America today. Many people use telemedicine for the ease and convenience of not having to make an appointment at a physical doctor’s office. However, as with all types of medical care, there are often some drawbacks. Telemedicine is no exception. Patients are finding out that there are some drawbacks to using the features of telemedicine that they did not realize existed. However, there are some big perks that come along with it, as well. In fact, some that may benefit not just consumers, but also providers.
In a recent article on MedPage today, a payer cannot legally discriminate against clinicians who provide care via telemedicine. This is probably one of the best-kept secrets about Telemedicine that is not widely known about to many people. Not that the clinician themselves is discriminated against, but more the service. Especially, in instances where the consumer pays for the service up front and is later reimbursed the fee that they paid to the telemedicine provider.
It does not matter whether the type of telemedicine is provider to provider, remote monitoring, or provider to consumer. The laws are regulated in the state where the patient is located. A prime example would be with provider to consumer. Let’s say that the medical provider is in a remote area far away from where the patient lives. They are treating the patient via telemedicine rather than a traditional brick and mortar medical office. Neither the patient nor the insurance company can dispute the treatment just because it is given to the patient via telemedicine.
In other words, the patient cannot refuse to pay for services. Nor, can the insurance provider refuse to either pay for the service to the telemedicine provider. They also cannot refuse to reimburse the patient the fee they may have paid upfront just because the care was provided via telemedicine. This is a profound law that makes the insurance providers responsible for covering more services.