Nine in 10 Health Care Providers Pursuing Telemedicine Despite Hurdles

New Foley survey finds executives motivated by post-Obamacare world that reimburses for outcomes, not services

WASHINGTON--()--Health care providers are actively pursuing telemedicine advancements despite reimbursement and regulatory challenges, according to a new survey of senior health care executives released today by Foley & Lardner LLP.

“The reimbursement landscape is already changing, and there are many viable options for getting compensated for practicing telemedicine,” said Larry Vernaglia, chair of Foley’s Health Care Practice. “The smartest thing organizations can do now is to continue developing programs, and be ready for the law to catch up -- because it will.”

The survey asked senior executives of for-profit and non-profit health care providers about the future of telemedicine and how their organizations are navigating regulatory and reimbursement hurdles, as well as other barriers to widespread adoption of telemedicine. Key findings in the 2014 Telemedicine Survey Report include:

Executives are Embracing Telemedicine

Industry leaders believe telemedicine has arrived. Why? For the majority of respondents, it’s simple – they believe telemedicine will keep patients healthier.

  • Nine out of 10 report that their organizations have already begun developing or implementing a telemedicine program
  • 84% say that offering meaningful telemedicine services will be central to the success of their organizations
  • The majority of respondents already offer remote patient monitoring services (64%), store and forward technology (54%) and real-time interaction capabilities (52%)

The Affordable Care Act is Driving Telemedicine Advancements

As health care providers move from a fee-for-service model to one that reimburses based on positive patient outcomes, executives face increased financial pressure to keep patients healthy. Given that the Affordable Care Act penalizes hospitals for excessive numbers of readmissions and hospital-acquired conditions, remote touch points may be more profitable.

  • 50% of respondents said the potential to improve quality of care was the primary motivator in adopting telemedicine
  • 18% ranked reaching new patients as their top motivation, demonstrating the potential for telemedicine to counsel and treat patients despite their physical location

“In the post-Obamacare paradigm, providers bear a much greater responsibility for the sustained wellness of their patients,” said Nathaniel Lacktman, a partner and health care lawyer at Foley. “Telemedicine offers new ways for providers to manage this new level of risk and keep their patients healthy, happy and out of the hospital.”

Reimbursement is the Primary Obstacle to Implementation

Leaders were less confident about telemedicine’s imminent adoption, primarily due to reimbursement issues. Regulators and insurers have made it challenging to get paid for medicine practiced outside of traditional interactions.

  • 41% of respondents said they do not get reimbursed at all for telemedicine services
  • 21% reported receiving lower rates from managed care companies for telemedicine than for in-person care
  • Nearly half (48%) expressed concern about educating physicians on telemedicine as a credible avenue for care

View Foley’s 2014 Telemedicine Survey Report here.

About Foley & Lardner LLP

With approximately 900 attorneys in 20 offices, Foley & Lardner LLP provides award-winning business and legal insight to clients across the country and around the world. Our team-based approach, innovative technology, and focus on value and client service are continually recognized by our clients and the legal industry. Foley has been recognized in a survey* of Fortune 1000 corporate counsel as an elite BTI Client Service 30 for 11 years — one of only seven law firms to hold this distinction for more than 10 years. In addition, Foley received 27 national Tier 1 rankings on the 2015 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list and was named to the InformationWeek 500 list for seven of the past eight years for technological innovation that enhances business value. Learn more at Foley.com. *2014 BTI Client Service A-Team survey, The BTI Consulting Group, Wellesley, MA

Contacts

Foley & Lardner LLP
Linda Yun
Senior Public Relations Manager
312.832.4755
lyun@foley.com
or
Ashley Hutchinson
Public Relations Manager
312.832.5789
ahutchinson@foley.com

Release Summary

Health care providers are actively pursuing telemedicine advancements despite reimbursement and regulatory challenges, according to a new survey of senior health care executives by Foley & Lardner

Contacts

Foley & Lardner LLP
Linda Yun
Senior Public Relations Manager
312.832.4755
lyun@foley.com
or
Ashley Hutchinson
Public Relations Manager
312.832.5789
ahutchinson@foley.com