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Everyone is enamored with the advent of telemedicine and the rise of companies supporting video-conferencing between patient and physician.

What seems to be forgotten is that doctors have been using telemedicine for decades. Our technology? The plain old telephone.

Many of us doctors spends hours each day in consultation and follow-up with our patients using the phone.
Our group was in the process of setting up a pre-anesthesia clinic--with all the attendant staffing, office supplies, and space requirements. And then we decided that at least 95% of business-at-hand could be conducted over the phone (the occasional patient who needed to be seen in person is then scheduled for a face-to-face evaluation).

So what advantage do the current companies offer? Video? Nope, Facetime offers that over the phone.

The real difference is that physicians can now charge for their video sessions. As soon as CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) allows us to charge for our time on the phone, I'll bet that many Zoom users go back to the ease and efficiency of our old stalwart.....the phone.

So, I'm long Apple, AT&T, and Verizon (to name but a few).


Alan
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