Section on Telehealth Care
Telehealth care is an increasing component of pediatric practice. Under pressure to limit office and emergency department utilization and with increasing expectations for access by working parents, pediatricians are finding themselves dispensing more and more advice over the telephone or via e-mail, both during and after office hours. Practice surveys have reported that non-face-to-face telephone care accounts for at least 20% of all general care in a pediatric practice and as much as 80% of after-hours pediatric care. Faced with the task of meeting the expectations of parents and health plans, pediatricians find themselves compelled to manage complex medical problems over the telephone, dedicate practice resources, and expose themselves to liability risk with little assurances that these efforts will be compensated until now.
Given the multitude of pressures that pediatricians and the health care system at large face, pediatricians are looking for advice on how to provide high quality, safe, and efficient care via the telehealth modalities.
The Section on Telehealth Care (SOTC) is the AAP home for information on the delivery of pediatric care via e-mail, video conferencing, telephone care, telemedicine and other non-face-to-face technologies. Visit the SOTC's Website to learn more about the Section.
- SOTC is one of 49 AAP sections.
- Its membership consists of nearly pediatricians and allied health professionals from ambulatory, inpatient, and call center settings.
- It has a 6-member executive committee, made up of elected leaders who govern the section activities.
- It generates policy, creates educational programming and resources, develops and promotes advocacy initiatives, and supports translation of policy and education into practice.
The mission of the SOTC is to improve the provision of in-person and remote care through the use of telehealth technology in a medical home. To accomplish this mission, SOTC will develop guidance and education on telehealth care and advocate for those who provide it.
Telehealth care is integrated into the menu of services provided through the medical home and is valued by pediatricians, patients and families, and payers and paid at an appropriate rate.
Pediatricians are compensated appropriately based on the services they provide. These services may be provided in-person or remotely using appropriate telehealth technology, depending on the needs of the patient, without affecting payment.
- All children deserve access to high quality health care.
- Telehealth care plays a central role in increasing access to primary and subspecialty care for those in rural or underserved populations.
- Care provided in non-face-to-face settings can be of the same quality as the care provided in person.
- Telephone care, telemedicine, e-mail communication, and other forms of non-face-to-face care provide valuable adjuncts to in-person care and should be paid according to that value.
- Telemedicine provides care equal to in-person care and should be paid exactly as if the patient and doctor were in the same room.
- Telehealth enhances the Medical Home by providing children with access to their own doctor, regardless of where the child is located.
- Provide guidance and champion the use of telehealth care in the Medical Home.
- Inform and lead AAP telehealth care advocacy efforts.
- Increase payment for telehealth care services.
- To provide high value for COCIT members.
- Peter J. Dehnel, MD, FAAP, Chairperson
- Joshua Alexander, MD, FAAP
- Denise Bell, MD, FAAP
- Maya Bunik, MD, MSPH, FAAP
- Bryan L. Burke, Jr, MD, FAAP
- Jeffrey R. Kile, MD, FAAP
Cathleen Guch, MPH
Manager, Health Information Technology Education