Last week’s American Telemedicine Association Annual Conference lived up to expectations, and the Polycom healthcare team was in full gear. As I highlighted before the conference, #ATA2015 brought together the best minds, technologies and educational opportunities in Telehealth.
Conversations at the event ran the gamut, but a few topics stood out. Reimbursement, legislative changes, grants and collaboration abounded as key themes in discussions on the show floor as well as in sessions we attended.
Reimbursement and legislation
With states differing greatly in their policies, and payers and providers trying to interpret what the various laws say, the telemedicine horizon is both exciting and challenging at the same time. Experts in the field are seeing remote care become more widely accepted and increasing availability, but at the same time, providers are still struggling with reimbursement rules and the ongoing interpretation of legislation.
Our Polycom Grants Assistance Program expert was in constant discussion with attendees about the multitude of grant programs available for telemedicine. Of course, rural programs are important, but some discussions in the booth around the need for assistance in urban areas were very interesting. It will be exciting to see how grant funding evolves as the Telemedicine landscape changes going forward.
Of course, the key behind effective telemedicine programs is collaboration – between patients and providers, doctors, nurses and office staff, and across the industry and those working on legislation that impacts it. The topic of new ways to collaborate using apps, video and audio generated a great deal of buzz. The ability to not only communicate, but interact visually is critical in delivering remote care, and we loved hearing the success stories and plans at this year’s event.