[ Tuesday, June 01, 2004 ]


Legislative efforts to prevent offshore transcription. Here's an interesting article on federal and state legislative attempts to stop the sending of medical information overseas. Primarily, the efforts will prevent offshore transcription services from operating. However, this article speaks specifically on the impact such legislation might have on teleradiology services. In most cases, radiology (image interpretation) does not have to be performed at the site of the patient; it can be performed anywhere the images can be sent. Since most hospitals need radiologists available 24 hours a day, it makes sense for the nighttime coverage to be provided by "nighthawks." But, whenever it's the middle of the night somewhere in the world, it's the middle of the day somewhere else. It would make sense for the nighthawk (who is licensed to practice medicine wherever the patient is) to be located on the other side of the world, working during the regular work day, assuming he/she can get the image there. However, that business model has some problems. First, Medicare doesn't know how to pay for services provided overseas. They can't apply a geographic payment rate, so they don't pay anything (at least that's what they tell me). Secondly, rules like those preventing offshore transcription may also prevent global teleradiology.

Jeff [4:28 PM]

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