ATA Comments on Healthcare Fraud Scheme Involving International Telemedicine Network
WASHINGTON, DC, SEPTEMBER 11, 2019 – ATA,
the premier organization working to accelerate the adoption of telehealth, denounced the Video Doctor Network for defrauding Medicare by soliciting and receiving kickbacks and bribes in exchange for arranging for doctors to order medically unnecessary orthopedic braces for elderly patients. The braces were prescribed after a short phone call with a doctor employed by the company and a disabled patient who had no previous relationship with that physician.
“We are appalled at the Video Doctor Network’s intent to deceive. This, in no way, represents the vast majority of telehealth companies — or healthcare companies at large,” said Ann Mond Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, ATA. “It is important to note that call centers — like the Video Doctor Network call centers located in the Philippines and across Latin America — are not the appropriate way to establish a valid patient/provider relationship today.”
ATA is undertaking an initiative to review state regulations and guidelines related to direct-to-consumer (DTC) asynchronous companies and products, as well as key policy and legal issues, to highlight the appropriate, successful application of DTC technologies. ATA defines asynchronous telehealth as technology-enabled services that securely transmit data collected from wearables, sensors and other devices to help inform clinicians’ decisions throughout diagnosis and treatment.
Telehealth includes a broad array of services and technologies that are transforming the way health and care are delivered, including digital health, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual care, remote patient monitoring, and digital therapeutics, as well as live video conference (synchronous), and the electronic transmission of personal health data to a healthcare provider outside of a real-time patient interaction (asynchronous).
As the only organization completely focused on advancing telehealth, ATA is committed to ensuring that everyone has access to safe, affordable, and appropriate care when and where they need it, enabling the system to do more good for more people. ATA represents a broad and inclusive member network of technology solution providers and payers, as well as partner organizations and alliances, working to advance industry adoption of telehealth, promote responsible policy, advocate for government and market normalization, and provide education and resources to help integrate virtual care into emerging value-based delivery models.