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Thumbs up for pediatric telemedicine

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The American Academy of Pediatrics has endorsed telemedicine for children, but with caveats, especially that it be integrated into the patient-centered medical home.

After a study, the  AAP Committee on Pediatric Workforce backed telemedicine services within the PCMH to improve the quality, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of patient care.

But at the same time, the committee  discouraged “fragmented care” from  such third-party providers as retail health clinics, arguing that it disrupts care and undermines the PCMH model.

The committee said  that telemedicine was particularly useful for children in rural areas and those needing care from a specialist.

They said that  telemedicine  can help increase the comprehensiveness of care delivered by improving communication between the patient and the care team.

The authors said that telemedicine has led to more appropriate specialist referrals and fewer diagnostic redundancies.

Still, the complained that it remains difficult for providers to receive reimbursement for telemedicine consultations, particularly from public insurance programs such as Medicaid. But then, telemedicine is still in its early innings.





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