ACP Offers Recommendations for Lawful, Effective Use of Telemedicine
September 18, 2015 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care
Telemedicine should be held to the same standards as in-person medicine, including the need to establish a provider-patient relationship before caring for a patient, states a position paper from the American College of Physicians (ACP). While telemedicine is a "reasonable alternative" for patients without access to care in their geographic area, ACP says that it is crucial to have a provider-patient relationship prior to treatment regardless of the care setting. A provider who has no previous contact with a patient must, at a minimum, establish a relationship based on the standard of care for in-person visits or consult another provider who already has an ongoing relationship with the patient and oversees the patient's care.