WHAT IS TELEMEDICINE?

By: Dennis Riedmiller, CBC from Riedmiller & Associates

You may have heard of the growing field of Telemedicine. It is simply the use of telecommunication and information technologies in order to provide clinical health care at a distance. Due to advances in technology there are a variety of applications using email, video, smart phones and wireless tools. Telemedicine is not new. Since the days of the telegraph and telephone, telemedicine and medical advice over electronic means is well known. What is different today and starting over forty years ago, not only hospitals and home health agencies, but now employees and their families can communicate directly with a medical doctor, via email, video or cell phone.

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VARIED HEALTH CARE COSTS LEAD PUSH TO EMPOWER PATIENTS

Health care services can vary in cost from state-to-state and even sometimes, from one hospital to another. The lack of continuity and regulation when it comes to what hospitals and doctors charge makes it difficult for patients to shop around.

While health care reform looks to make the insurance marketplace more competitive, there has been little effort made to regulate medical charges. Although hospitals and doctors may have their reasons to back-up their fees, little information is published or made public.

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