URAC launches the first independent, third-party telehealth accreditation program.
Telehealth is a powerful tool that can help improve health outcomes and lower healthcare costs. By creating efficiencies and extending the reach of existing providers, it has the ability to ameliorate healthcare workforce issues and can reduce health disparities for aging and underserved populations by overcoming access barriers and reducing both costs and burdens for patients around the globe.
As telemedicine is making strides in healthcare, new pressures are being created to establish national standards to assure quality and consistency of services. Now, URAC has announced the nation’s first independent, third-party telehealth accreditation program offering comprehensive oversight of the country’s diverse telehealth programs.
“URAC’s independent accreditation seal allows patients, employers, insurers or other stakeholders to identify organizations that are distinguished as being high-performing, accountable telehealth providers,” said Kylanne Green, URAC President and CEO. “Accreditation also offers telehealth organizations a framework in which to continue innovating while meeting standards of accountability.”
URAC’s telehealth accreditation standards are designed to offer a framework for differentiating the top tier organizations in the telehealth marketplace, even as the industry evolves.
“Telehealth providers are bringing new platforms to market that disrupt the traditional visit-based health care system while, at the same time, increasing timely access to needed services,” said Deb Smith, MN, RN-BC, Vice President, URAC. “Employers and payers — both commercial and government — are promoting the trend by gradually expanding coverage of telehealth services.”
Particularly as pressure increases to improve interoperability and access to quality healthcare even in underserved regions and populations, the need for consistent and reliable telemedicine services is significant.
“Telehealth will continue to grow rapidly, and it may innovate in unexpected ways,” added Green. “By focusing on effective business, legal and regulatory practices, and consumer protections and empowerment, URAC’s accreditation seal will help diverse stakeholders identify high-performing telehealth providers who believe in and practice excellence.”
This post first appeared on Health IT Outcomes on June 23, 2016. Click here to view the original article.