By Patrick Connole
Bill Frist, M.D., the former Senate Majority Leader and Republican senator from Tennessee, tells Health Plan Week in an exclusive interview that his close connection to the practice of telehealth began 50 years ago when he witnessed his father, a cardiologist, interpret the equivalent of EKGs via the telephone. A surgeon himself, Frist saw the value early on of a physician being able to ease a patient’s mind or get a person medical attention in a timely fashion through this old-time version of telemedicine.
Fast forward to the present and Frist still recognizes the value of telehealth, particularly as the business of providing virtual office and hospital visits continues to grow in use as more states pass parity laws to reimburse the virtual visit the same as an in-person encounter. Frist is a proponent of the industry and is a member of the board of Teladoc, Inc., a supplier of on-demand remote medical care, providing services via mobile devices, the internet, video and phone.
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