The American Telemedicine Association is launching a program to accredit healthcare professionals who offer patients real-time online consultations, as well as vendors selling supporting technologies.

ATA’s board about two years ago began looking into accrediting consultations and has consulted with providers, vendors, regulatory boards, and other accreditation organizations while putting together its program, which will be run in-house, says Jon Linkous, CEO.

From now through February 2015, the accreditation program is open to AHA members and vendor partners in a pilot stage. In the first day after launching the program, 60 organizations registered, the first step in participating, according to Linkous.

A fee schedule has not yet been disclosed, but fees will be based on an organization’s size, he adds. “It’s not out of line with what other accreditation agencies cost.”

Accreditation will last for three years with organizations required to annually report any changes in operations that could result in the need for reassessment. More information on the program is here.

ATA also recently released new free guidelines for primary/urgent care and pathology online consultations, the latest in a series of guidelines issued during the past decade and available here. The organization also has a new resource to help consumers understand telehealth services.

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