The American Academy of Dermatology and American Telemedicine Association are pushing to make teledermatology a covered service under Medicare Part B.

"We understand there is opportunity each year with the publication of the proposed physician fee schedule to submit proposals for the inclusion of services under the definition of 'telehealth' for reimbursement under Medicare," the organizations say in a joint letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Teledermatology has been part of telemedicine activities since the 1970s and broadens access to specialist care for many patients, the associations contend. "With comprehensive patient information and clear images, the dermatologist can often make a diagnosis at a distance and advise the local doctor how to care for the patient, keeping patients out of high-cost care sites and allowing patients access to care that may have otherwise seemed unattainable," according to the letter.

The complete comment letter to CMS is available here.

--Joseph Goedert

 

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