ATA Pilots Program With DocTalker Family Medicine To Establish Telemedicine As A Key Cost-Saving Component Of Healthcare Reform

Washington, DC. (PRWEB) November 4, 2009 -- The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) and DocTalker Family Medicine, a patient-focused healthcare pioneer in Northern Virginia, are partnering to pilot a program delivering access to telemedicine as an employee benefit.

This benefit ideally will demonstrate how people can save money and stay healthier by accessing medical care via phone, email, internet or video conferencing.

"Telemedicine is one of the essential components upon which healthcare reform must be built. It is key to eliminating at least 1 million office visits a day while, keeping patients in continuous communications with their doctor, and cutting the outrageous costs of our current healthcare system," says Dr. Alan Dappen, founder of DocTalker Family Medicine. "Our practice can solve over 55% of our patients' medical issues by phone or email consultation - no office visit needed. When a patient calls, a member of our medical team picks up the phone, round-the-clock, even on nights and weekends. This way the doctor first to know what's happening and care can start immediately."

Dappen continues, "We in the United States have the technology to deliver fast access to affordable, quality healthcare. It's time that we use it. Instead, we lag far behind other nations in access, quality of care and cost."

According to Jonathan Linkous, Chief Executive Officer of the ATA, whose mission it is to champion telemedicine, "We at the ATA decided that it was time that we mainstream telemedicine. Our member organizations have amazing technologies to offer, and until the general public gets used to using telemedicine as an integral part of their day-to-day healthcare, then the telemedicine industry will not garner the wide usage it deserves."

Linkous adds, "We're partnering with DocTalker to provide our team of staff with 24/7 access to primary care, ideally serving as a model for other organizations who want to provide their workers with fast access to effective, high quality healthcare by pairing technology with medicine."

Before founding DocTalker Family Medicine, Dappen conducted an informal study at his formal place of work to validate the value of telemedicine as offering patients the access to affordable healthcare they need. He found nearly two thirds of the patients he saw at the office could be treated through communication alone. This disconnect between how medicine is actually delivered versus how it ought to be led Dappen to start DocTalker in 2002, a practice founded on offering patients direct access to its practice 24/7, however way they want: phone, email, videoconferencing or in-person. "Perhaps the most unexamined assumption in all outpatient medicine is why is every medical problem or issue forced through the maze and delays of an office visit. Physical exam is important about 33% of the time We have spent seven years dispelling this myth at DocTalker."

About DocTalker: DocTalker Family Medicine offers 24/7 access to primary, urgent and continuous care for all of its patients, and ensures affordable, quality and convenient care including telemedicine consultations, same-day office visits and house calls. The practice is a cash-only practice, and offers time-based billing. The practice has often been called a concierge-level medical practice for everyone. Dr. Alan Dappen is a board-certified physician, and founded doctokr in 2002, in Vienna, Virginia. Doctokr was one of seven medical practices to be invited to the national "Primary Care Innovators Roundtable" organized by the Harvard Interfaculty Program for Health Systems Improvement, and has appeared in U.S. News & World Report, Inside Healthcare, on CNN, Washington DC's News Channel 8, Good Morning America and American Public Media's The Story. Website:

About The American Telemedicine Association: The American Telemedicine Association is the leading resource and advocate promoting access to medical care for consumers and health professionals via telecommunications technology. ATA seeks to bring together diverse groups from traditional medicine, academic medical centers, technology and telecommunications companies, e-health, medical societies, government and others to overcome barriers to the advancement of telemedicine through the professional, ethical and equitable improvement in health care delivery.

Established in 1993 as a non-profit organization and headquartered in Washington, DC, membership in the Association is open to individuals, healthcare institutions, companies and other organizations with an interest in promoting the deployment of telemedicine throughout the world.