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Telemedicine seen as undermining profession

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Lee Schwamm, M.D., says that telemedicine vendors offering acute-care services risk undermining healthcare, just as charter schools have challenged public education and Fed Ex the U.S. Postal Service.

“Urgent care should be part of an integrated delivery network,” said Dr.  Schwamm, who is also the director of telestroke services at Massachusetts Massachusetts General Hospital, at the iHT2 Health IT summit in Boston.

MedCity News paraphrased that he said that “telemedicine companies risk creating their own information silos because they don’t do an adequate job of ensuring these patient-physician interactions get passed along to patients primary care physicians and aren’t designed with follow-up care in mind. They are also attracting dissatisfied physicians who want to set their own work hours rather than the long hours they currently work.”

“It destroys the profession,”  he said, adding, MedCity News reported, that it is attracting wealthier patients who can pay out of pocket for these services.

“It’s pulling dollars out of the healthcare system that are desperately needed to care for poorer patients.”





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