Annals of Internal Medicine: Performance Measures for Physicians Providing Clinical Care Using Telemedicine: A Position Paper From the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians (ACP) published a policy paper which details new recommendations to ensure that measures developed to gauge telemedicine services are evidence-based, methodologically sound and clinically meaningful. The focus of this paper is telemedicine services provided in an ambulatory care environment, including via interactive audio and video telecommunications systems. ACP recommends that:
- Performance measures used to evaluate quality of care provided by a physician at a telemedicine visit should adhere to the same principles and criteria as for an in-person ambulatory care visit.
- Performance measures be evaluated to determine whether care delivered in a telemedicine setting should be included in the specifications, with careful consideration of how this might impact measure actionability or lead to unintended consequences.
- Mechanisms be put in place so that physicians, and their information systems, can have access to information generated at a telemedicine visit before a performance measure is used to evaluate quality of care.
- Performance measure testing must be conducted for a measure deemed appropriate to evaluate quality of care provided by a physician at a telemedicine visit.
- Telemedicine visits be incorporated into measure attribution logic (for example, individual physician, group practice level, and health plan).
- Performance measures used to evaluate quality of care provided by a physician at a telemedicine visit should not marginalize under-resourced communities already affected by the “digital divide”.