- In December 2014, the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) announced it had created an accreditation for eligible telemedicine providers. The hope is that this Seal of Accreditation will help distinguish successful applicants from other healthcare organizations that are providing remote monitoring and telehealth services. As the popularity and demand for these systems grows, having a way to recognize the quality systems will be important.
“ATA’s Accreditation Program is designed to ensure transparency and patient safety as online services for healthcare proliferate,” said Jonathan Linkous, CEO of ATA. “We’ve seen an explosion of online healthcare service offerings in recent years, and a growing need to assure consumers they are making good choices. ATA’s Accreditation Program for Online Patient Consultations will provide benchmarks for organizations building an online practice.”
Linkous added that this accreditation will also provide reassurance for payers that the virtual services they reimburse follow federal and state laws and regulations, assure patient privacy, are transparent in pricing and operations, use quality licensed providers and follow appropriate clinical practices and guidelines. The accreditation will also help create an industry standard and benchmarks for quality.
Companies seeking accreditation were asked to register between December 15, 2014 and February 28, 2015. Over that time, more than 200 organizations registered for the ATA program
In March, the first accreditation for online patient consultations was handed out to American Well’s Amwell.
“In an age where the average consumer manages nearly all aspects of life online, it’s a no-brainer that healthcare should be just as convenient, accessible and safe as online banking,” Linkous said in a press release. “This program ensures that online healthcare services are following the necessary standards, guidelines and laws to provide safe care to American consumers.”
Roy Schoenberg MD, the the CEO of American Well, said that the accreditation of telehealth is an important step.
“ATA’s Accreditation Program is establishing an industry-wide standard for patient safety and service transparency,” Schoenberg said. “We believe that this is critical to the delivery of quality telehealth and are honored to be included in this accredited group.”
More companies that have been awarded accreditation will be announced soon.