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Standards for the Use of Telemedicine for Evaluation and Management of Resident Change of Condition in the Nursing Home

      Abstract

      Objectives

      This document offers guidance to clinicians and facilities on the use of telemedicine to deliver medically necessary evaluation and management of change of condition for nursing home residents.

      Settings and participants

      Members of the telemedicine workgroup of AMDA—The Society for Post-Acute Long-Term Medicine-developed this guideline through both telephonic and face-to-face meetings between April 2017 and September 2018. The guideline is based on the currently available research, experience, and expertise of the workgroup's members, including a summary of a recently completed systematic mixed studies literature review to determine evidence for telemedicine to reduce emergency department visits or hospitalizations of nursing home residents.

      Results

      Research and experience to date support the use of telemedicine as a tool in change of condition assessment and management as a means of reducing unnecessary emergency department visits and hospitalization. Telemedicine-delivered care should be integrated into the primary care of the resident and delivered by providers with competency in post-acute long-term care. The development and sustainability of telemedicine programs is heavily dependent on financial implications. Quality measures should be defined for telemedicine programs in nursing homes.

      Conclusions/Implications

      Telemedicine programs in nursing homes can contribute to the delivery of timely, high quality medical care, which reduces unnecessary hospitalization. Reimbursement for telemedicine-driven care should be based upon medical necessity of visits to care and the maintenance of quality standards. More studies are needed to understand which telemedicine tools and processes are most effective in improving outcomes for nursing home residents.

      Keywords

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