On the other hand, telemedicine has shown it is a great way to reach some of these newly-insured populations, especially low-income populations and rural populations that don’t have the same access to physicians as compared to large cities or high-income areas. As the U.S. Chamber, we’re working toward getting rid of some of the barriers to using this telemedicine as a targeted tool to increase access to care. Right now, if you’re a doctor and you want to treat your Medicare patient in another state using telemedicine, you have to be licensed in both states. This is a great example of a regulatory barrier that could use additional flexibility so we can open up these channels of care.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 34 – No 05 – May 2015
RM: As hospital-based physicians, a lot of times we find ourselves being very insular or working within our hospital, but it sounds like there’s a need for us to reach out to the business community. From your experience, what would you advise physicians in order to start an effective and meaningful dialogue with business?
JP: The perfect place to start is your local or state chamber. We’ve seen a number of groups develop regional health care collaborations at the local or state level. For example, Nashville, Tennessee, has a health care effort led by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce that pulls together all of the health-sector players in that area—hospitals, physician groups, and businesses—and they all figure out the challenges together for the area. They’ve been able to move forward with creating cultures of wellness, making sure that they have adequate hospital and emergency room service and ensuring the business environment is supporting the local health care industry. At the end of the day, if these groups are insulated from the others, they can’t collectively deal with the problems and come to a solution that’s best for that geographic location.