Can Telemedicine Be The Future Of Health Care?

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Huffington Post Business.

This piece comes to us courtesy of Stateline. Stateline is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts that provides daily reporting and analysis on trends in state policy.

Telemedicine has been praised as a cost-effective way to link doctors and patients, enabling physicians to monitor their medical conditions and consult with specialists in a way that overcomes time and distance.

But despite a half-century of technological advances, the ready availability of interactive devices, and the full-throated encouragement of the Obama administration, advocates say telemedicine has failed to reach its full potential, due largely to policies in some states that make it difficult to practice, and pay for, such care.

“The technology has opened up this huge opportunity, this game changer,” said Allison Wils, director of health policy for the ERISA Industry Council, a trade association that advocates on issues related to health care for large, multistate employers. “The problem is that there are still varying levels of comfort with it across the states.”

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