AGA released a new Clinical Practice Update providing commentary to help navigate and incorporate telemedicine into your gastroenterology practice.
Telemedicine has been a valued component of some gastroenterology practices for years. However, the use of telemedicine increased abruptly in mid-2020, as individual and population-wide safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated demand from both patient and provider communities, and third-party payers removed barriers to reimbursement. Although telemedicine visits have fallen and in-person visits have increased gradually since the initial wave of COVID-19 in 2020, telemedicine remains an important format for ambulatory care, and is likely to persist long after the current pandemic has waned. Furthermore, the post-pandemic landscape of care via telemedicine must balance the medical needs, quality of care, patient and provider preferences, regulatory requirements and reimbursement of care provided.
Given variations in the format, structure and documentation of telemedicine, as well as important questions regarding the appropriateness of telemedicine versus in-person visits, there is a need for clear guidance regarding best practices for telemedicine.