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Market Insight: U.S. Healthcare costs are spiraling out of control. Law makers in Washington DC are pushing to expand the use of telemedicine and other technologies that will cut costs, ease doctor shortages and improve healthcare outcomes.

What is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine is the technology allowing doctors to visit patients virtually using the internet. This technology is already being used widely across the country. Telemedicine platform permits two-way, real time interactive communication between the patient and the physician or practitioner at a different site. This electronic communication uses of interactive telecommunications equipment that includes, at a minimum, audio and video equipment.

Telemedicine designed for clinicians to have more control over their practice, to adopt the cores of value based care and to increase the patient access to healthcare. This platform provides two-way, real-time interactive audio and video communication between the patient and physician to improve the patient's health by permitting two-way, real time interactive communication between the patient, and the physician or practitioner at the distant site.

More payers are embracing telemedicine for its ability to increase quality of care and reduce costs by reducing readmissions and unnecessary emergency department visits. Several insurance companies including WellPoint, BCBS, Cigna, Aetna and others have established specific services for patients that utilize these tools instead of going into a clinic. Several states have legislation pending that would create statewide insurance standards for telemedicine.

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