Telemedicine Requires New Approaches To Credentialing And…

Check this out. What you will see is a writeup pointing out that physician credentialing needs to be rethought in the pandemic era, and beyond, when a physician’s ability to treat patients, via telemedicine, in States other than her own requires her to be licensed in the State where the patient lives. That’s just stupid, and certainly needs to be straightened out to optimize the delivery of patient care in a time of growing physician shortage and skyrocketing reliance on the telemedicine platform.  

BUT. Is that the only cog in the telemedicine machinery that needs to be greased? Nope. I would argue that there are at least two more.

The first of these is modernizing malpractice insurance coverage for the telemedicine era. I have spoken informally with a number of physicians who have told me that their malpractice insurance carriers have told them that if they use telemedicine to treat patients in States other than where they are licensed, they are on their own if they get sued. Whoops.  

Second, the monthly conversations that I am having with physicians in a number of specialties as a part of my On Doctors’ MindsSM project have demonstrated to me that there is a genuine learning curve for doctors in the use of telemedicine platforms. Expertise in telemedicine, in fact, is not just about a doctor learning to use Zoom. It’s about her learning new clinical skills to rely more on a patient’s verbal cues, as one Cardiologist explained to me so clearly yesterday in an ODMSMconversation, to replace physical findings that she would normally get from an in-office visit, in making diagnosis and treatment decisions.  

Bottom Line. I am thinking that there is a tremendous opportunity for us to step in here to develop programs to skill physicians in the practice of telemedicine. There are doctors who are ahead on this learning curve, and they should be provided with an opportunity to share their “tricks” with colleagues who are less advanced in this area of expertise. Note. There are generalizable tricks that can be shared, but each specialty has its own particular nuances to be mastered. Such a program should share both. 

Want to do something that will benefit our physician customers, their patients and your company? This may be it!

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