February 2000 Bulletin

AAOS adopts position on telemedicine

Advances in electronic data communication, including real-time two-way audio and video capability, are opening the door to the potential benefits of telemedicine for patients otherwise unable to access certain specialists because of disability, lack of financial resources or remote residences.

The increased use of telemedicine also presents problems such as venue, licensure, standard of care and informed consent–many of which are discussed in the accompanying article. While each state defines what constitutes the pracitce of medicine in that state and what practices require full licensure, there is no consistency yet among the states. And, there is no consistency among insurers as to whether telemedicine services are recognized for reimbursement purposes.

The Academy has adopted a Position Statement on Telemedicine, Computers and the Internet which "supports the appropriate use of telemedicine to provide access to specialists in the continuing effort to improve the quality of patient care in the United States." The position statement also says the Academy believes that:

The position statement, developed by the Professional Liability Committee, with the assistance of the Health Care Financing Committee, is on the AAOS web site.

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