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The American Medical Association has approved a list of guiding principles for ensuring the appropriate coverage of and payment for telemedicine services.

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The principles, adopted at the organization's Annual Meeting in June, aim to help foster innovation in the use of telemedicine, protect the patient-physician relationship, and promote improved care coordination and communication with medical homes, a news release notes.


"We believe that a patient-physician relationship must be established to ensure proper diagnoses and appropriate follow-up care," AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD, noted. "This new policy establishes a foundation for physicians to utilize telemedicine to help maintain an ongoing relationship with their patients, and as a means to enhance follow-up care, better coordinate care, and manage chronic conditions."


The new principles follow a policy report addressing coverage and payment for telemedicine that was developed by the AMA's Council on Medical Service earlier this year.


"Whether a patient is seeing his or her physician in person or via telemedicine, the same standards of care for the patient must be maintained," Wahl said. "Telemedicine can strengthen the patient-physician relationship and improve access to receive care remotely, as medically appropriate,