Geoffrey Boyce was interviewed at the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) 2017 annual conference upon receiving the ATA Industry Partner Award. Each year, this award is presented to an individual or company that has made significant contributions to the advancement of telemedicine at federal, state and international levels. Read Boyce’s comments below.
How long have you been in the telehealth field and what does your work involve?
I started working in telehealth in 2008 as the Executive Director of InSight Telepsychiatry, and have enjoyed helping build it into what we think is the leading national telepsychiatry organization. We work in 27 states and have telepsychiatry programs in a number of settings across the continuum of care. InSight’s mission is to transform access to care through innovative applications of technology. In my role with InSight I ultimately see myself as a builder and a problem solver. I guide the team as we develop and launch new programs often in states, health systems and organizations that are new to telehealth.
InSight has been doing telepsychiatry for the past 18 years, and as one of the early adopters in the field, we have recognized the importance of setting and meeting standards for what appropriate telemedicine looks like. Being involved in telemedicine advocacy through ATA and beyond is a big part of that. As InSight has grown into new states, we have often had to work with partners and state officials to update policies that were written before anyone ever contemplated telemedicine.
What does receiving the President’s Industry Leader Award mean to you?
I’m humbled by this honor. I’ve been involved with ATA for close to ten years and seen the organization and the telemedicine industry come into its own. We are no longer spending time convincing people that telemedicine isn’t voodoo and are now seeing real change. We are at that tipping point.
It’s been an adventure to be a part of that growth. Since policy and regulation often don’t move as fast as industry, advocacy through groups like the ATA is vital. ATA has been a great resource to InSight as we have developed, and I am honored that some of my work has also helped fuel ATA’s mission.
What work have you done in the last year to propel telehealth forward?
In the past year I worked in conjunction with a small committee from the ATA Telemental Health Special Interest Group to draft ATA’s comments and suggestions around the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act and have continued to advocate with the DEA and other relevant parties on that issue.
I also was one of the reviewers for the ATA’s recently published Practice Guidelines for Telemental Health with Children and Adolescents.
I’ve done a handful of presentations with ATA and similar organizations to promote telemental health best practices and promote industry news. I also serve on the advisory board of the Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center.
On a state level, I have spent a lot of time in the last year working with policy makers New Jersey to develop telemedicine friendly regulation that we hope to see passed later this year. Ironically, InSight’s home state of New Jersey has been one of the most restrictive states for telemedicine in the country, historically but, as in most every other place, there is a great need for it. I am enthusiastic we will be able to bring additional care to InSight’s home state soon.
On a professional level, another accomplishment this year has been the growth of InSight’s direct-to-consumer division, Inpathy which we have really started to see pick up. Direct-to-consumer care is the new frontier for telehealth, in my opinion, so I am passionate about helping this budding application of telemedicine get its legs.
What’s next for you in telehealth?
I look forward to continuing to advocate for the growth and expansion of telehealth through InSight.
Some of the telehealth industry issues that I am most excited about in the coming year include:
- The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact going live this year is a huge success for telehealth. The physician licensing process has been a huge hurdle to providing care across state lines, so this new streamlined system will be a game changer.
- Expanding reimbursement to new states and new applications, including direct-to-consumer telehealth.
- Increased training and education on telehealth. The industry has produced some great guidelines for telehealth best practices in the past year, and I look forward to seeing more training programs and existing providers utilize these tools to stay up-to-date on the most appropriate ways to practice through this medium.