Dr. William Thompson IV, an interventional spine and pain medicine specialist at The CORE Institute, was appointed by Governor Doug Ducey to Arizona’s Telehealth Advisory Committee in July.
Thompson will have a role in determining which telemedicine services are reimbursed by insurers throughout the state and in defining the best practice guidelines within telemedicine, according to a press release.
He has chaired the Legislative and Governmental Affairs Committee for the Arizona Medical Association since 2019 and also served on task forces charged with helping create solutions for Arizona’s opioid epidemic.
“Telemedicine has shown that we can provide high quality, more convenient and cost-effective care to working Arizonans as well as those in rural populations,” said Thompson in a prepared statement. “What we are working on now is the long-term legislation that will serve as the model for telemedicine going forward, not just for Arizona, but for many other parts of the country.”
During the pandemic, the use of telemedicine platforms became more widespread and important for providers to maintain the continuity of care for their patients, the release said, noting platforms also helped ease the burden on hospital emergency rooms dealing with the influx of patients with respiratory concerns.
His practice, The CORE Institute, quickly deployed a telemedicine program for those with orthopedic and spine needs in May of 2020 and has seen thousands of patients throughout Arizona since that time, according to the release.
In May of 2021, Governor Ducey signed House Bill 2454, which expanded telemedicine for patients and ensured physicians receive equal compensation for telehealth services, allowing out-of-state physicians to provide care to patients on telehealth platforms as long as those physicians comply with all Arizona medical regulations.
Further discussions among the task force will also help distinguish the coverage for telemedicine visits that solely use audio connections versus those with both video and audio real-time connections, added the release.