At SLEEP 2016, Jaspal Singh, MD, explained the benefits of telemedicine for the treatment of sleep disorders and that uncertainty about reimbursement may be a roadblock in its use, reports Medpage Today.

Uncertainty about reimbursement remains a major roadblock to the wider use of telemedicine in sleep medicine, said Jaspal Singh, MD, of Carolinas HealthCare System, Charlotte, North Carolina.

Singh spoke about the potential for telemedicine to improve patient outreach and outcomes in an afternoon session delivered June 14 at SLEEP 2016, the 30th anniversary meeting of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). He also co-authored a recently published AASM position paper in support of its use in the field.

“Telemedicine is coming, and if we as sleep providers don’t offer it, someone else will,” he said.

In an interview with MedPage Today, Singh said while reimbursement models have not been quick to adopt telemedicine, he expects that to change over the next few years.

“Sleep medicine is more suited to telemedicine than many other specialties because we don’t rely as much on the physical examination of the patient,” he said. “A lot of what we learn about a patient comes from talking with them and taking their history.”

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