Telemedicine is a model for delivering patient care that utilizes telecommunications to provide remote access to clinicians. Telemedicine started as a way for doctors to collaborate on a patient’s care remotely, but the advent of the internet and mobile devices has allowed telemedicine expand to include video calls directly from a patient to a remote doctor or patients using their phone to upload photos as a part of a dermatology consultation.
Telemedicine has not become a primary method for patients to see their doctors yet. This is at least in part due to the fact that payers have not standardized their approaches to reimbursement. Medicare has started to offer reimbursable telehealth visits that mimic face-to-face appointments using direct patient to clinician video interactions. Other payers offer a mix of approaches to reimbursement.