Accreditation Program for Direct-to-Consumer Telemedicine Services
Recently the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) launched an accreditation program to recognize those healthcare facilities in the U.S. that offer online, direct-to-consumer healthcare consultations while meeting specific standards.
With the concepts of telemedicine and remote healthcare gathering momentum, the launch of such a program is well-timed. ATA’s research has estimated that some 800,000+ online patient consultations will be provided this year and that number is expected to increase as more consumers and healthcare providers discover the convenience and cost-effectiveness of online medical services.
Talking about the program, Jonathan Linkous, CEO of ATA, said, “ATA’s Accreditation Program is designed to ensure transparency and patient safety as online services for healthcare proliferate.” He further explained ATA’s vision behind the program, “We’ve seen an explosion of online healthcare service offerings in recent years, and a growing need to assure consumers are making good choices. ATA’s Accreditation Program for Online Patient Consultations will provide benchmarks for organizations building an online practice. In addition, it will provide reassurance for payers that the virtual services they are reimbursing follow federal and state laws and regulations, assure patient privacy, are transparent in pricing and operations, use qualified, licensed providers, and follow appropriate clinical practices and guidelines.”
ATA has also launched SafeOnlineHealth.org, a resource through which consumers can understand the growing use of digital and telecommunication advancements in healthcare services. Here visitors can also learn about telemedicine, online healthcare, and see the list of accredited providers.
Registration for the Accreditation Program will be open to ATA Institutional Members, Sustaining President’s Circle, and President’s Circle members exclusively from Dec. 15, 2014, through Feb. 28, 2015. The program details are available at http://www.americantelemed.org.