AMA: 5 tips for medical practices to expedite telemedicine services during COVID-19 pandemic

By Jackie Drees, Becker’s Hospital Review
March 19, 2020

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the American Medical Association released a guide this week to support physicians and medical practices expediting looking to accelerate deployments of telemedicine services.

The guide includes resources on starting implementations, policy, coding and payment as well as best practices.

Here are five tips from the AMA’s guide:

  1. Assemble a team that will be responsible for expediting the implementation of the telemedicine services. These individuals must be able to make decisions quickly to ensure the services launch as soon as possible.
  2. As policy and payment regulations around telemedicine continue to rapidly change during the pandemic, physicians and practices must ensure they are up to date on their specific state laws and regulations. For the most up-to-date information, contact states’ health departments or state medical associations.
  3. If a physician is not licensed in the state where a patient is located, they can fill out a Medicare or Medicaid waiver that temporarily halts the licensure restriction so the physician can provide virtual care.
  4. Practices implementing telemedicine services for the first time should check with their EHR vendor to see if a telemedicine function can be turned on. 
  5. Determine appropriate protocols, such as if/when a telemedicine visit should be conducted up front and ensure clinicians, care team members and schedulers are trained.

Click here to view AMA’s full guide.