PATH supports both public and private initiatives for patients, providers and payers to realize the health outcome benefits of artificial intelligence, automation, medical sensors and robotics based on the following goals:
Improve patient outcomes and productivity
These are core objectives for all of PATH’s activities. Expanded uses of these newer technologies will achieve that end. To facilitate this, PATH will promote applications that show greatest utility. These will be identified through independent studies demonstrating their ability to 1) facilitate access to appropriate care and significantly reduce misdiagnoses and medical errors for patients and 2) enhance the value-cost ratio and efficiencies for the healthcare industry. These successful applications will form the foundation for best practices and guidelines.
Reduce government and professional regulatory barriers
Regulation of these technologies should provide assurances of safety, security and accessibility of services. However, arbitrary regulatory or professional barriers that thwart progress or competition within the United States and other countries must be overcome. As with any innovation, the benefits of these technologies may not accrue uniformly. Market opportunities will allow both innovative technology and non-traditional health providers to emerge and increase competition among existing institutions. PATH supports such initiatives as the digital health pre-certification program of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as well as similar efforts in other countries.
Align payment policies and incentives
PATH will work with academia, professional societies, health providers, public and private third-party payors and providers to achieve appropriate payment policies that reflect the unique value-added of artificial intelligence, automation, and robotics tools. One approach is new payment coding to reflect new procedures based on these new technologies, such as AMA’s new CPT code for inter-professional internet-based interprofessional consultation services provided by a consultative physician. This may also require a different payment approach and levels of payment than currently used for reimbursement of services. We recognize that the financial incentives of value-based payments are more conducive to the use these tools than the perverse incentives of fee-for-service reimbursement.
Promote partnership in developing ethical applications
The healthcare and technology industries should work together to foster basic and applied research on the ethical, legal and social implications of the use of artificial intelligence, automation, sensors and robotics for individuals, families and communities. Such initiatives as the ELSI Research Program at the National Human Genome Research Institute is one model approach. Development of public policies, standards and guidelines should involve all stakeholders. Patient data belongs to the patient and such information should have full privacy protections. Such data can be an important asset, when used collectively, for improving population health, assuming privacy protections are in place.
Advance public understanding
Public goodwill for the use of artificial intelligence, automation, and robotics is critical. As such, PATH is committed to informing patients, providers, payors, regulators, and other governmental and professional bodies about the value and uses of these innovations and provide forums for open discussion.