AUSTRALIA’s telehealth industry has taken a back seat to a US-based association in a series of bad decisions, a senior industry official has said.
Key points:The American telehuman Association (AHA) is currently considering whether to withdraw from telehealth insurance policyholdersA spokesperson for AHA has been in talks with the Australian Telehealth Association (ATHA) and a spokeswoman for the industry group said it was “working closely with the AHA”.
“The American Telehuman Association is currently in discussions with the American Telehealth Associations (ATAs) and the industry is working closely with both to explore how best to proceed,” ATCA spokesperson Rebecca Schimel said.
“The AHA is an organisation that works closely with telehealth associations, and we remain committed to providing access to telehealth services to as many people as possible.”
We remain committed, as a telehealth organisation, to ensuring that all Australians have access to the best available information and services to help with their telehealth needs.
“The AHRAs website says it “supports telehealth as an integral part of a comprehensive telehealth plan”.”
Our members and our members’ families are the backbone of the telehealth experience,” it states.”
This includes supporting people to get their health and wellbeing back on track with telephonic consultations, telephone support, and the support they need to access and access to quality telehealth support services.
“But the association’s policy paper on tele health insurance policy holders states:”AHA policies will not provide health coverage for telehealth claims that are not covered by telehealth plans.
“The decision by AHA to exclude telehealth insurers from the telehuman insurance policy market has raised concerns.AHRAs policy paper states:”The telehealth community in the United States and Canada is rapidly changing in the light of new telehealth models and technologies that provide greater choice, choice and flexibility to consumers and insurers.”
The ATHA’s spokesperson said it is still in discussions about the association policies and the decision of the association to exclude insurers from telephonics policies.”
While we are still in the early stages of our discussions, we have been in touch with the ACCC and have been assured that we are in the best possible position to provide telehealth coverage to all our members,” Ms Schimal said.
The ACCC said it would review the association policy.