Policy recommendations to guide the use of telemedicine in primary care settings: an American College of Physicians position paper

Ann Intern Med. 2015 Nov 17;163(10):787-9. doi: 10.7326/M15-0498. Epub 2015 Sep 8.


Telemedicine-the use of technology to deliver care at a distance-is rapidly growing and can potentially expand access for patients, enhance patient-physician collaboration, improve health outcomes, and reduce medical costs. However, the potential benefits of telemedicine must be measured against the risks and challenges associated with its use, including the absence of the physical examination, variation in state practice and licensing regulations, and issues surrounding the establishment of the patient-physician relationship. This paper offers policy recommendations for the practice and use of telemedicine in primary care and reimbursement policies associated with telemedicine use. The positions put forward by the American College of Physicians highlight a meaningful approach to telemedicine policies and regulations that will have lasting positive effects for patients and physicians.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Health Policy*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Primary Health Care* / economics
  • Primary Health Care* / organization & administration
  • Reimbursement Mechanisms
  • Telemedicine* / economics
  • Telemedicine* / organization & administration
  • United States