The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that they will eliminate their credentialing and privileging process for hospitals and healthcare facilities that use telemedicine, Health Imaging reports.
According to the American Telemedicine Association, the concept involves exchanging medical information from one location to another using electronic communication. This may include sharing still images, monitoring vital signs from remote locations, using nursing call centers or participating in video conferences.
Under the CMS’ new guidelines, hospitals and critical access facilities will no longer need to complete the privileging and credentialing process in order for physicians and practitioners to provide telemedicine services, the news source reports.
CMS officials said that the former requirements did not take into account that some physicians use only telemedicine and made hospitals treat them as if they were working on-site.
This rule will make it more convenient and less expensive for healthcare facilities to use telemedicine, according to the news outlet. It will also encourage further innovations to health informatics.
Changes made by the CMS may affect individuals who pursue a health informatics degree, as telemedicine is becoming an important part of the discipline.