Jon Freshman, the former senior vice president of research and development at American Well, has been promoted to chief technology officer of the telehealth systems and services provider.
As CTO, Freshman will oversee research and development, technical service and quality assurance.
American Well operates Amwell, which the company claims is the most-downloaded app for video doctor visits.
“Jon led the buildout of our first foray into online care a decade ago, helping us walk the fine line between fast-track innovation and accountable delivery,” said the 10-year-old company's CEO and co-founder, Dr. Roy Schoenberg, in a news release. “With Jon's leadership we will continue to imagine, design and deliver meaningful, elegant solutions that make telehealth a celebrated part of mainstream medical care.”
American Well is one of many telemedicine companies working to increase use of technology to provide healthcare services. But the telemedicine industry is dealing with issues of reimbursement.
According to the American Telemedicine Association, most state Medicaid plans cover some telehealth services, while only 30 states plus the District of Columbia require private health insurance plans to cover them.
But the Medicare program reimburses only some physician telehealth services and paid out a paltry $17.6 million for them in 2015.
In March, 22 health systems, other organizations and individuals wrote to Keith Hall, director of the Congressional Budget Office, and Mark Miller, executive director of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, asking that they look at examples of cost savings and care quality from private sector users of telehealth services in deciding to expand Medicare reimbursements for the technology-supported care.