ATA Launches Accreditation Program for Telehealth Services

December 16, 2014 in News

On Monday, the American Telemedicine Association announced the launch of an accreditation program for health care providers who offer online patient consultations, MedCity News reports.

Accreditation Program Details

ATA said the program will accredit for up to three years providers who offer “real-time, online consultations directly to the patient” (Verel, MedCity News, 12/15).

The accreditation program, which had been in development for more than a year, only will cover providers who work with patients in the U.S.  According to MobiHealthNews, ATA hopes to expand the program to Canada soon (Comstock, MobiHealthNews, 12/15).

Under the program, providers will be required to meet standards to ensure consumers and payers that the services are safe and secure. The standards were developed based on best practices and federal and state regulations, according to MedCIty News (MedCity News, 12/15).  

The program will focus on direct-to-consumer services, such as phone- and video-based consultations. However, it will not cover email consultations (MobiHealthNews, 12/15).

ATA also launched an online portal called SafeOnlineHealth.org to help consumers better understand the growing use of telehealth in the health care industry (MedCity News, 12/15).

ATA CEO Jonathan Linkous said that the program’s focus on direct physician-patient interaction is to ensure that consumers understand that they are working with a “trusted source” and “licensed providers that are operating in the rule of law.”

ATA members can begin applying immediately, while non-members will be able to do so a few months (MobiHealthNews, 12/15).

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