CNBC: Telemedicine Keeps Seniors Out of Nursing Homes

January 14 2014:

Elaine Pofeldt of CNBC quotes Tatiana Melnik in her story discussing the growth of telemedecine and how telemedicine technologies are being used to monitor seniors, allowing them to stay in their homes longer.

Telemedine is enabling children to keep an eye on their parents as well as permitting senior care communities to provide better care to their residents. Other medical organizations are also interested in taking advantage of telemedicine enabling technologies.

"There's a cost savings associated with not having patients come back again," said Tatiana Melnik, an attorney in Tampa, Fla., who specializes[*] in data privacy and security, health care, information technology and intellectual property. "If you can do remote monitoring of patients to make sure they're taking their medications, to check their blood counts and things like that without their having to come into the hospital or physician's office, certainly that's better for everyone."

Melnik also noted that fueling the increased acceptance of telemedicine are measures such as a provision of the Affordable Care Act, which has directed the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation to explore new models for coordinating care for the chronically ill who are at high risk of hospitalization, including options like home telehealth technology.

But telemedicine still faces obstacles. Not all health insurance providers have embraced it. "Currently, there is little reimbursement for telemedicine services," Melnik said, although she claimed that some have been proactive because of the cost savings it brings.

Complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which safeguards consumers' privacy, and adhering to the state laws that govern the use of technology in medicine can also be a hurdle for telemedicine companies. "A big issue is privacy and security," said Melnik.

CNBC, published online at - Read the full article here: Telemedicine Keeps Seniors Out of Nursing Homes

* Disclaimer: Tatiana Melnik is licensed to practice law in both Florida and Michigan. Florida has established a Board Certification process for attorneys who are specialists or experts in certain fields, including health law. As of January 14, 2014, Tatiana Melnik does not have a health law certification from the Florida Bar. A list of such attorneys is available from the Florida Bar's website. Michigan does not have Board Certifications.

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