The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) has launched an accreditation program for online, direct-to-consumer healthcare consultations. The program will accredit U.S. healthcare entities providing real-time, online consultations directly to the patient that meet specific standards.
“ATA’s Accreditation Program is designed to ensure transparency and patient safety as online services for healthcare proliferate,” said Jonathan Linkous, CEO of ATA,l oin a prepared statement. “ATA’s Accreditation Program for Online Patient Consultations will provide benchmarks for organizations building an online practice. In addition, it will provide reassurance for payers that the virtual services they are reimbursing follow federal and state laws and regulations, assure patient privacy, are transparent in pricing and operations, use qualified, licensed providers, and follow appropriate clinical practices and guidelines.”
According to ATA's research, over 800,000 online patient consultations will be provided this year. This is expected to grow rapidly as more consumers, providers and payers look to the convenience of online services.
From Dec. 15, 2014 through Feb. 28, 2015, registration for the Accreditation Program will be open to ATA Institutional Members, Sustaining President’s Circle and President’s Circle members.
In addition, ATA has launched SafeOnlineHealth.org, a resource to help consumers better understand the growing use of telecommunications in the delivery of healthcare services. Visitors can learn more about telemedicine and online healthcare and browse accredited providers.