Asw. Pam Lampitt Discusses Telehealth Expansion
Steve Adubato goes on-location to Virtua’s "Evolving Role of Telemedicine- Driving Quality, Access and Cost Savings" event to speak with Asw. Pam Lampitt about the expanding practice of telehealth in New Jersey.
"Steve Adubato here at a very important conference, put together by the folks at Virtua, dealing with the evolving role of telemedicine, and we're talking with one of the leaders who spoke here at the panel discussion I was pleased to moderate. Some fascinating issues that came out looking at public policy, and she is Assemblywoman Pam Lampitt, a Democrat from... by the way, I want you to describe your district. So you're standing in my district. So we're in the 6th district, and we represent sixteen towns, mostly in Camden County, and one in Burlington County. Assemblywoman, if you could describe...? You have several pieces of legislation, and they are intended to improve the way telemedicine, telehealth, is dealt with right now. A, why is public policy needed when it comes to telehealth? And I asked the question in the panel. Why not just let the marketplace dictate? You know, a devil's advocate question. Loaded, I know, this whole thing. Why do we need legislation? Well because right now within our medical community, there are so many aspects of delivery of quality service. At the end of the day, it is about patient safety. And I believe that needing legislation always to be overarching about the quality of service and patient safety is something that we need to engage ourselves from a policy perspective. So give us an example. We were talking about the fact that, excuse me, you were talking about parity? Parity in terms of what? So, for telehealth, it's all about the patient visit with the physician, and if the patient visit is something where they have an engaging conversation, the doctor's able to get some of your vital signs using telemedicine, then it's almost like a visit that you had with them in their office. But in other cases, it might be two minutes, in terms of the process. And so they would consider that a doctor's visit, and as at the same sort of level of reimbursement. And that's what we're talking about. So Assemblywoman, let me ask you this. The whole question of parity, say someone said, "Woah hold on. Are we saying that insurance companies should reimburse a physician, or a clinical professional, the same amount for a face to face visit as the insurance companies should reimburse for a telehealth visit because the quality is the same?" In many cases, it is. So yes, in many cases it should be. What we didn't speak about today, which I think is the overarching, is mental health. When we look at the mental health crisis here, and with the way our behavioral health services, and access to good therapists, their engaging services could be 45 minutes to an hour..."