We’ve already mentioned how the iPhone 4’s FaceTime video conferencing feature could be used by physicians for patient care.

Dr. Felasfa Wodajo, an orthopedic oncologist wrote about a potential use: Showing video of a post-operative healing incision – such as asking a patient to manipulate the incision area for signs of pain or erythema.

Getting reimbursed for this type of care is a whole other story, but there are signs healthcare providers are one step closer to getting paid for this type of telemedicine care.

MedScape is reporting that payments for telemedicine care are gaining strength and are currently being mapped out by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the American Medical Association.

These groups are working on methods to reimburse healthcare providers for “virtual visits” – time spent by physicians using texting, smartphone technology, and web-based communication (e-mail).

“Current payment for telemedicine includes private insurers, employers, Medicaid, and Medicare. All pay for some forms of telemedicine, such as teleradiology — offsite reading of medical images.

However, payment for interactive consultations and remote monitoring of chronic care patients is limited,” Jonathan D. Linkous, chief executive officer of the ATA, Washington, DC, told Medscape Medical News.

The article goes on to mention how 12 states have already mandated heath plans that will cover telemedicine – although is varying degrees. Hopefully the state models of reimbursements for telemedicine can be used as a model for the federal government

Source: MedScape