A new collaborative initiative between Iagnosis, a leading developer of telemedicine solutions such as DermatologistOnCall, and the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), is aimed at increasing access to patients who need treatment for psoriasis.
Telemedicine is the use of electronic communications and information technologies to provide clinical services when patients are off-site at various locations, according to the American Telemedicine Association.
The use of telemedicine by healthcare providers and patients has increased since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. It allows healthcare to be available to people who, due to geographic location or socioeconomic status, do not have access to specialty providers, such as dermatologists.
This lack of access has been such a public health problem that the ACA made it a healthcare delivery priority, encouraging industry partnerships to provide specialty care.
A partnership like the one that Iagnosis and the NPF are embarking on is just what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had in mind when pushing for initiatives that can delivery specialty care.
Patients will be offered access to the NPF Patient Navigation Center, which provides personalized service to patients on issues related to psoriatic disease, as well as DermatologistOnCall, an online network of U.S.-based dermatology specialists, who will be available to provide diagnostic services and treatment consultations.
These telemedicine visits are compliant with all HIPPA laws, guaranteeing the security of the patient’s private information.
In a press release about the partnership, NPF President and CEO Randy Beranek said psoriasis patients often struggle to get treatment, whether finding a dermatologist within driving distance who understands how to treat the disease or even getting an appointment.
“Accessing care can be very challenging. We’re excited about this partnership as it enables us to offer patients yet another option for getting the right diagnosis and appropriate treatment for their disease,” Beranek said.
This sentiment was shared by Beranek’s new collaborative partner and colleague, Dr. Mark P. Seraly, MD, founder and chief medical officer of Iagnosis and practicing board-certified dermatologist.
“Psoriasis can have a profound physical and emotional impact on a patient’s quality of life. Direct-to-patient teledermatology is yet another tool that dermatologists can employ and offer to patients which can aid in the support and management for this chronic autoimmune disease,” Seraly said.
“The partnership with the National Psoriasis Foundation is going to significantly help expand the success of using teledermatology solutions to get more psoriasis patients proper medical treatment.”
There is a fee for using the service, but forms will be provided so that reimbursement can be obtained from the patient’s Health Spending Account (HSA), Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), or Flexible Spending Account (FSA).