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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: September 2009

8 - Getting started


If you are interested in developing a teledermatology program, this chapter is for you. There are a multitude of variables that need to be considered in developing a teledermatology practice. These variables include understanding the types of teledermatology modalities available, understanding how teledermatology fits your organization, being knowledgeable about the legal and regulatory issues impacting the program, being familiar with your reimbursement landscape, and most importantly understanding the intrinsic and extrinsic reasons and rewards for wanting to offer the teledermatology.

This chapter assumes that the reader has read the chapters describing the rationale for teledermatology, potential business models available, and how reimbursement for those services is obtained. This chapter concentrates on other issues that need to be considered before starting a teledermatology program. We also describe ways to implement and provide teledermatology services in three ways – via live-interactive video (LIV), store-and-forward (S/F), and a hybrid method using both LIV and S/F technologies.

The reader should note that starting any telehealth project is a time-consuming process. Ideally, one should allow a 6-month window of time to devote to researching, planning, and implementing a teledermatology program. Disciplined planning will increase your chance of being successful.

For private practice dermatologists, we have prepared an abridged version of this chapter in an effort to make it more relevant for solo or small practice dermatologists (see Appendix H, this book).