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Implementing Telehealth in Practice

ACOG Committee Opinion Summary, Number 798

Author Information
doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000003672
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Abstract

Recommendations and Conclusions

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists makes the following recommendations and conclusions regarding telehealth:

  • Telehealth is increasingly used in nearly every aspect of obstetrics and gynecology. Obstetrician–gynecologists and other physicians should consider becoming familiar with and adept in this new technology.
  • In most states physicians, nurses, and other health care providers must be licensed in the state where the patient is located and also may need to be credentialed at the facility where the patient is located.
  • Insurance carriers should provide clear guidelines to physicians who provide telehealth to ensure appropriate health insurance coverage for telehealth encounters.
  • It is important that the patient–physician relationship is upheld and valued in the treatment plan, and physicians who provide telehealth should examine their state laws and medical board definitions closely to ensure that their practices are compliant.
  • Before choosing a liability insurer, physicians who provide telehealth should request proof in writing that the liability insurance policies cover telemedicine malpractice and that the coverage extends to other states in which they are practicing, if applicable.
  • Obstetrician–gynecologists and other physicians who provide telehealth should make certain that they have the necessary hardware, software, and a reliable, secure internet connection to ensure quality care and patient safety.
  • To implement a telehealth program effectively, participating sites should undergo resource assessments to evaluate equipment readiness.
  • Physicians who provide telehealth must comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy and security rules and also should be aware of the unique security risks posed by virtual health care technology, which can be vulnerable to outside threats.

Number 798

For a comprehensive overview of these recommendations, the full-text version of this Committee Opinion is available athttp://dx.doi.org/10.1097/AOG.0000000000003671.

Scan this QR code with your smartphone to view the full-text version of this Committee Opinion.

Presidential Task Force on Telehealth

This Committee Opinion was developed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Presidential Task Force on Telehealth in collaboration with task force members Curtis Lowery, MD and Nathaniel DeNicola, MD.

Full-text document published online on January 23, 2020.

Copyright 2020 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, posted on the internet, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher.

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Official Citation

Implementing telehealth in practice. ACOG Committee Opinion No. 798. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol 2020;135:e73–9.

© 2020 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.