On Feb. 24, 2009, AIM (Association Internationale de la Mutualitie) held an executive expert workshop on "TELEMEDICINE AND REIMBURSEMENT" at its prem-ises in Brussels. The invited opening key note on “Telemedicine and reimbursement: a framework, business models, practical examples” was presented by empirica eHealth ex-pert Dr. Karl A. Stroetmann.
He started his intensively discussed contribution by asking provocatively: "Is reimbursement for Telemedicine the wrong question?" and added: “If eHealth is indeed as cost saving as claimed by many – then it will pay by itself, and no reimbursement is needed.” Nevertheless, when pro-fessionally integrated into a holistic health services delivery context for collaborative, integrated disease management, there clearly is room for a rational reimbursement policy.
When taking a broader approach towards improving health services and analysing "Who bene-fits – who pays?", then indeed an innovative reimbursement approach for telehealth applications can be developed. It was discussed what, in this context, eHealth/telemedicine can deliver, or how today's health services can be improved facilitated by eHealth. This then led to analysing concrete business models and successful examples illustrating reimbursement options.