CEO Blog: ATA Updates & Working Together to Reimagine Care

Hello and greetings from the DC area! As we move to the final weeks of the summer, I wanted to provide you some updates on what we’re doing at the ATA.

You may recall that one message we heard at the annual meeting in Chicago was we needed to do more than use technology to replace a visit. In fact, we need to reimagine care. That challenge helped shape our agenda for the upcoming EDGE conference which will be held in Austin, TX from September 26 through September 28. We have an exciting line up of folks who offer insights on several important topics including how telemedicine or virtual services fit within the framework of innovation, what challenges remain with the shift from fee for service to value-based payments, what can we expect from large retailers like Walmart, and what the future holds in terms of AI, the use of remote sensors and the federal legislative landscape. The content has been shaped to help you gain insights and lessons learned to inform your own strategies going forward. I encourage you to go here, learn more and register to attend.

As we reflect on the ATA’s history, it’s hard not to be excited about how far the industry has come. Telemedicine has advanced from a curious form of clinical communication to a mainstay in the way providers and patients interact. We have gone from telemedicine being a side feature of the health care system to an expectation. Consequently, we were truly heartened by recent signs from CMS, as they acknowledge that virtual services do make sense and can be of benefit. The idea of ensuring that people can receive care when and where they need it and that providers can do more good for more people is why we’re here.

It’s interesting that there is no common definition of telemedicine and that the term can evoke a limited view of what we do. In fact, I’m finding a growing belief that what we once referred to as telemedicine now encompasses a much broader array of services and technology, including AI, virtual reality and even behavioral economics. As the only association focused exclusively on telemedicine, we need to ensure that our initiatives and our membership includes this broader universe. And while there’s no lack of technology, we need to promote the incorporation of the broad array of technology in improving efficiency, sustainability and scale in the health and wellness system.

Finally, I want to make sure you know who to go to for what. Courtney Mesmer is managing our conferences and events including EDGE18 and ATA19. Sabrina Smith is working with external partners for resources and tools that provide value to you. Look for a new Buyers Guide soon! She is also working with the SIGs to take some of their insights and make them more actionable content. Toni Lindsey and Carmen Park are focused on all things membership (including if you need help logging on to your account). Many of you have met or spoken with Tess Niehaus who is also working with us in membership. And Latoya Thomas continues to scan the landscape and organize our responses and thoughts about proposed regulations, including the most recent request for your comments on CMS’ Medicare payment proposals.

Thank you for your continued support. Please email or call should you have any questions or comments.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!