Survey: Health Care Execs Favor Telemedicine Despite Barriers

November 12, 2014 in News

The majority of health care executives are moving forward with plans to adopt telemedicine services, despite barriers, such as poor reimbursement and provider education, according to a survey from Foley Lardner, Healthcare IT News reports (Miliard, Healthcare IT News, 11/11).

Survey Details

For the survey, researchers polled 57 senior executives from for-profit and not-for-profit health care providers between September and October (2014 Telemedicine Survey, 11/11). The respondents were asked:

  • About the future of telemedicine;
  • How their organizations are handling changes in regulation; and
  • Barriers to widespread adoption (Foley Lardner release, 11/11).

Survey Findings

Overall, the survey found:

  • 90% of respondents said that their organizations have started to develop or implement telehealth;
  • 64% already offer remote patient monitoring services (Dvorak, FierceHealthIT, 11/11);
  • 54% use store-and-forward technology (Healthcare IT News, 11/11); and
  • 52% have real-time interaction capabilities (FierceHealthIT, 11/11).

Further, 84 % of respondents said that “meaningful telemedicine services will be central to the success of their organizations.”

Half of respondents cited the potential to improve quality of care as the primary motivator for adopting telemedicine tools, while 18% cited being able to reach new patients.

According to the survey, the findings suggest that the health care executives recognize the penalties hospitals face under the Affordable Care Act for readmissions and hospital-acquired infections.

When asked about the primary barriers to telemedicine adoption, many respondents cited reimbursement challenges. Specifically, the survey showed:

  • 41% of respondents said they are not reimbursed for any telemedicine services; and
  • 21% said managed care companies provide lower rates for telemedicine than for in-person care.

In addition, nearly half of respondents cited education concerns as a barrier to adoption (Healthcare IT News, 11/11).

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