The American Telemedicine Association and the American Board of Telehealth announced Tuesday that they were partnering to expand access to training and education for virtual care.

The partnership comes on the heels of the ABT’s recently launched CORE Concepts in Telehealth Certificate, which consists of seven telemedicine-focused training models.

“We share a common goal with ATA. That is to weave into the everyday fabric of healthcare. By improving access to quality education, we can help ensure effective care for all patients, particularly those in rural and underserved communities,” said Deanna Larson, chief executive officer of Avera eCARE and a founding board member of the American Board of Telehealth, in a statement.

WHY IT MATTERS

As part of the collaboration, members of the ATA will receive discounted access to the ABT’s certificate programs.

The CORE Concepts in Telehealth Certificate consists of:

Introduction:
Telepresence skills.
Technology.
Legal, regulatory and quality.
Licensing, credentialing and privileging.
Reimbursement.
Ethical considerations.

According to the statement, ABT will also offer a behavioral telehealth certificate and a primary certificate in the coming weeks. The courses may be used for Continuing Medical Education or Continuing Nursing Education credits.

“We are thrilled to provide ATA’s fast-growing membership with the educational tools they need to ensure a successful future for telehealth,” said Larson.

THE LARGER TREND

Although the future of remains uncertain from a federal policy perspective, patients have largely expressed satisfaction with the modality – which suggests that providers may benefit from offering it as a service in the long term.

One open question, of course, is reimbursement: If providing isn’t financially feasible, patient demand may not be enough to compel mass adoption.

Still, some states are taking steps to guarantee parity in this regard, at least for certain specialties. A recently signed Massachusetts law would implement permanent rate parity for virtual behavioral health services, among its other provisions.

ON THE RECORD

“We are pleased to partner with the American Board to offer high-quality, evidence-based telehealth education to our diverse membership,” said ATA Chief Executive Officer Ann Mond Johnson in a statement.

“ABT’s Certificate Program is the gold standard for education, preparing healthcare providers to use telehealth and virtual care in the delivery of safe, effective, quality care to their patients, wherever and whenever they need it,” Johnson continued.

Source: Two major telehealth orgs team up to expand virtual care training

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