- The ethical implications of telemedicine will be in the spotlight when the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates convenes in Chicago this weekend, Forbes reported.
- The policymaking body will vote on whether to adopt guidelines on the “ethical practice” of care delivered via telephone, videoconferencing, or other remote means.
- The meeting, which runs June 11-15, sets the AMA’s lobbying agenda for the coming year.
Concerns about telemedicine come as more Americans are gaining coverage under Obamacare and more insurers are paying for remote consultations. This is fueling the growth of telehealth vendors like MDLive, Teladoc, and American Well.
“Although physicians’ fundamental ethical responsibilities do not change, the continuum of possible patient-physician interactions in telehealth/telemedicine give rise to differing levels of accountability for physicians,” says a report by the AMA’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs.
To ensure quality of care, the council wants vendors to be transparent about any limitations of their service, inform patients of necessary follow-up care and encourage them to share their telehealth experience with their primary care physician.