SOURCE: Virtual Radiologic

Virtual Radiologic

July 08, 2014 08:30 ET

vRad Supports Potential Legislation to Increase Access to Clinical Care Across State Lines

Geography Should No Longer Be a Barrier to Physician Access Thanks to Cloud-Based Technology

MINNEAPOLIS, MN--(Marketwired - Jul 8, 2014) - vRad (Virtual Radiologic), the largest U.S. telemedicine company and radiology practice with over 450 physicians, supports a move by the Federation of State Medical Boards to draft Federal legislation that would make it easier for doctors licensed in one state to treat patients in other states, whether in person, by videoconference or online.

"I am encouraged by the move to create an interstate licensing compact that reflects the impact of technology on our practice of medicine," said Benjamin W. Strong, MD (ABR, ABIM) and Chief Medical Officer of vRad, who is licensed in all 50 states and reads for over 900 facilities. "The complexity of current state licensure processes means time and money for our practice -- and that means delays in getting doctors up and running quickly for patient care. Once hired, it takes an average of 4 months (as many as 9 months, depending on the state) for a radiologist to be fully operational because of the current state licensing model. Processes vary by state (paper-based vs. online), as well as required information. For example, to be licensed in certain states, our physician-applicants must appear in-person solely to present a photo ID -- and sometimes their original medical school diploma. That's onerous for our practice and a disservice to underserved healthcare facilities and their patients."

A June 29, 2014 New York Times story ("Medical Boards Draft Plan to Ease Path to Out-of-State and Online Treatment" by Robert Pear) outlined how the proposed legislation can create a new pathway to speed the licensing of doctors seeking to practice medicine in multiple states, according to Dr. Humayun J. Chaudhry, president of the Federation of State Medical Boards, which consists of state medical boards responsible for credentialing and disciplining physicians.

"While the bar for certification must be high in any interstate compact, the consolidation and simplification of investigatory and certification processes would be helpful in reducing the time required for licensing board and credentialing committee approval, lower processing costs, provide greater mobility for physicians -- and ultimately, deliver exceptional patient care by matching patient to physician as quickly and as efficiently as possible. At 3:00 AM in an emergency room when an ED physician is waiting to have an image read to determine if a patient is having a stroke, does it matter if the radiologist is reading and diagnosing from the basement of the hospital, an in-state office, or a home office equipped with state-of-the art diagnostic tools across the country? Seconds count. With today's cloud-based tools, geography should no longer be a barrier to excellent clinical care."

vRad's U.S. board-certified radiologists will collectively read over 7 million client studies this year -- diagnosing via a patented cloud-based network to provide critical clinical care to patients in over 2,000 healthcare facilities in all 50 states (plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia). On average, each of its radiologists has 14 state licenses and credentials to read for 175 different facilities.

About vRad
vRad (Virtual Radiologic) is a global telemedicine company and the nation's largest radiology practice with over 450 physicians. vRad's physicians and operational platform serve 2,000+ hospitals, reading over 7 million patient radiology reports annually. vRad is also a leader in healthcare informatics: its RPC(SM) (Radiology Patient Care) Indices are the first findings-based national and peer group benchmarking metrics for the use of radiology imaging. Our analytics platform includes over 24 million imaging studies, growing at 600,000 per month. vRad's clinical expertise and evidence-based insight help clients make better decisions for the health of their patients and their practices. For more information about the Company, including vRad's recent 2014 Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Award, visit www.vrad.com. For real-time updates, follow us on Twitter (@vRad), or "like" us on Facebook.

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