Telemedicine Struggles in Central Valley Amid Hope, Hardship

Those wading into telemedicine are watching developments such as a proposed rule by CMS that would create a more streamlined credentialing and privileging process for physicians and practitioners providing telemedicine services. The rule was published in the May 26 Federal Register with a 60-day comment period.

Mendez, the Kerman clinic manager, spends her free time reading legislation, trying to figure out what the clinic’s liabilities are for a telemedicine specialist, whether there is a way to use physicians in another state and an avalanche of other questions.

Her clinic is one of six that UC Merced brought together to form Valley Telehealth Partnership. Funded by AT&T, the California Emerging Technology Fund and the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley, the six clinics have hi-speed connections, equipment and UC Merced as a “go-to” place for questions.