Teledermatology -- sending live images or photographs of skin lesions electronically -- enhances patient access to dermatologists' expertise, doctors say. The U.S. Army provides teledermatology services to solders at home and abroad, and a 2003 survey found 62 teledermatology programs in 36 states. "If more people have access to [dermatologists'] expertise, we can deliver higher-quality care, with higher patient satisfaction, at lower costs," said Dr. Karen Edison, a dermatology professor at University of Missouri Medical Center at Columbia. Medical groups have asked the CMS to expand its reimbursement policy for teledermatology, though some doctors say the agency is unlikely to do so in the current political climate.

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