Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Generating supplemental income through telemedicine

These days, a growing number of physicians are eager to leave clinical practice to enter the non-clinical business world of health care. However, there is also an opportunity to generate income by virtually "visiting" patients using your webcam and a secure telemedicine portal that offers patients direct access to physicians 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You could sign up to provide care through one of these portals, but you'll need to be familiar with interstate telemedicine regulations governing medical licensure. Otherwise, you could end up on a news story because you were practicing medicine in a state (treating a patient who lived in another state) where you did not have a medical license.

The issue concerning medical licensure and telemedicine is a hot topic right now. Many regulatory bodies recognize that telemedicine is a cost-effective way to deliver care, but many physicians face barriers regarding the issue of interstate medical licensure. It's rather cumbersome to get a license in every state. Plus, some states have requirements that literally make it impossible for you to get a license unless you live there.

I've been writing about telemedicine on one of my other websites (see those stories here) and I will be continuing to follow the telemedicine industry closely. There are many overlapping themes with mobile health (mHealth) and telemedicine given that the technologies are converging and mobile devices are becoming powerful telemedicine tools as well. Get familiar with telemedicine because you won't want to miss the opportunity to monetize those virtual visits with your patients. The next major trend will be some sort of concierge televisit through the use of smartphones and tablets.

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