New telehealth standards to govern outcomes, remote monitoring

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ClearHealth Quality Institute, a healthcare accreditation organization, is rolling out two new telemedicine accreditation programs.

The initiatives are designed to cover telemedicine outcomes and remote patient monitoring initiatives.

Volunteers have begun to meet to develop new standards, and, when complete, the modules will be part of the CHQI’s telemedicine accreditation program recognized by the American Telemedicine Association.

The program includes development of an assessment tool to measure access to telemedicine care, cost effectiveness, experience and overall effectiveness, according to Jason Goldwater, senior director at the CedarBridge Group, a consulting firm.

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The importance of remote patient monitoring has increased significantly in recent years, says Rene Quashie, vice president of policy, regulatory affairs and digital health at the Consumer Technology Association and a member of the CHQI telemedicine standards committee.

“Digital health solutions including telemedicine and remote patient monitoring represent important ways to improve clinical outcomes and value,” he adds. Developing accreditation standards in these areas is a critical step in protecting patients.”

Three earlier modules previously developed and accredited cover specific telemedicine delivery models. They are consumer-to-provider, provider-to-consumer and provider-to-provider. Now, the telemedicine standards committee will draft and vet the new modules.

“ClearHealth Quality Institute is committed to building a best-in-class ecosystem of telemedicine and telehealth services to promote evidence-based virtual care, which in turn, will increase the likelihood of being reimbursed for such services,” says Garry Carneal, CHQI founder. “Adding additional modules for outcomes and remote patient monitoring interventions is a logical next step.”

Work also is being done to ensure use of telemedicine complies with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. The act in general prevents health plans providing mental health or substance abuse services from having less favorable benefit limitations than on medical benefits.

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