In the superfast mobile computing era of iPhones, iPads, Kindles and net books, telemedicine is stuck in a rut.
The biggest potholes are anachronistic reimbursement rules that bar physicians from receiving payment for services rendered via mobile devices, thereby hindering doctors' use of the devices, concluded a panel sponsored by the Institute for e-Health Policy.
Of $400 billion spent on Medicare, approximately $2 million was for telehealth products, according to Government Health IT.
The new health reform law includes funds for pilot programs to assess innovative ways of using health IT, but it doesn't address the reimbursement issue.
"We need to move the reimbursement iceberg to one based on quality not volume," said Sen. Ron Wyden.