Background: Teledermatology programs in the United States have evolved over the past several decades. No systematic survey of teledermatology programs in the United States is available in peer-reviewed literature. Objective: To provide up-to-date information regarding the state of teledermatology programs in the United States. Methods: Active U.S. teledermatology programs were surveyed in 2011 with regards to practice models, clinical volume, and payment methods. These findings were compared with those from 2003. Results: By January 2012, 37 teledermatology programs were active in the United States. Store-andforward teledermatology was the most frequent delivery modality offered by 30 (81%) of the programs. The majority of the programs were based at academic institutions (49%), followed by Veterans Administration hospitals (27%), private practice (16%), and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) (8%). The majority of programs (67%) provided services to their home state only, whereas the rest also served additional U.S. states or abroad. The median number of consultations per program was 309 (range, 5-6500) in 2011. The most frequent payer sources were private payers, followed by self-pay, Medicaid, Medicare, and HMOs. Since 2003, with the confirmed discontinuation of 24 previously active programs, the total number of active teledermatology programs in 2011 was 60% of that in 2003. However, the annual consult volume per program nearly doubled for the sustainable programs in 2011. Limitations: Itemized billing information was not uniformly available from all programs. Conclusion: The turnover in teledermatology programs is relatively constant, with an increase in consult volume for sustainable programs. Store-and-forward is the dominant modality of delivery, while hybrid technology model is emerging.
ASJC Scopus subject areas