Virtual doctors visits await regulation, grow in popularity

And recommendations on digital privacy protections for electronic health records could come as early as June.

The Wall Street Journal: Where Does It Hurt? Log On. The Doctor Is In
Can downloading an app, and describing your symptoms to a doctor you'll never meet, take the place of an office visit? Can sending a "selfie" of your sore throat help diagnose strep? Those are some of the issues state and federal regulators-;and the medical profession itself-;are wrestling with as telemedicine spreads rapidly (Beck, 5/8).

The Wall Street Journal: Virtual Doctor Visits: What's Treated And What's the Cost?
A growing number of Web-based companies offer virtual medical visits, where users can go online and consult with a doctor or other health-care provider, any time of the day or night, from wherever they are (Beck, 5/8).

Modern Healthcare:  Wait Continues For Behavioral Health IT Privacy Recommendations
Long-awaited recommendations on how to add digital privacy protections to health records, and particularly to sensitive behavioral health information, could emerge in June, a leader of a work group organized under the auspices of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology's Health IT Policy Committee told its members Tuesday. That won't be soon enough for some who have followed the issue for years and wonder why standards can't be agreed upon using existing technology that involves applying what are known as metatags to data to ensure privacy (Conn, 5/8).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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