18 May Telehealth Is No Longer Just A Nice-To-Have
With Covid-19 spread throughout the world, medicine, as we know it, has a great opportunity to embrace the new technologies, including telehealth and remote monitoring.
Telehealth is an exceptional tool during situations like an infectious disease pandemic when we must safely adhere to social distancing rules. But now is the time to adopt telehealth to handle many routine tasks and visits for chronic disease management, all possible over the internet.
Health systems and smaller practices need to weigh the pros and cons of whether to invest in telehealth infrastructure for long-term use or if they are looking for shorter, potentially cheaper solutions solely to respond to this acute crisis.
If you ever wonder about telehealth's future, it is set to be valued at close to $176B by 2026 (1). Your practice needs a long term telehealth solution. Telehealth is here to stay.
Here are 6 reasons why telehealth is here to stay beyond Covid-19:
Patients are becoming more and more used to using automated online services to schedule an appointment or order a medication refill, all from the patient’s internet-connected device. Video technology has come along a long way, and more patients will now expect practices to have a telehealth option.
2. Wearable Medical Devices
We expect to see tremendous progress in this category. Wearable technology is an electronic device that consumers can wear, like a smartwatch. The device then collects the data of users’ health and exercise. The collected data can be effectively used during a telehealth appointment. The latest technologies include wearable ECG monitors, wearable blood pressure monitors, and biosensors.
3. Think outside the box
In this case, this means thinking outside the physician’s office. It is only human nature to continue doing what we know. Yes, the shift to the digital world does take adjustment, but the benefits far outweigh the possible initial hiccup or two.
4. Not just Covid-19 symptom
The recent news has shown that telehealth plays a significant role in screening for COVID-19 symptoms. However, telehealth has been successfully used in mental health, for keeping up with routine checkups, in treatment of certain cancers and the list of telehealth treatment options is getting longer and longer by the day.
5. Regulatory changes
Almost overnight, the telehealth regulatory barriers that would most like take years to overcome were removed. Providers and patients are now encouraged to opt for the telehealth appointment over the in-office visit when appropriate.
As a result of the recently developed public health emergency, Medicare has waived virtually all of the previous telehealth restrictions and is reimbursing at the increased rates for virtual visits. Some commercial payers are following the lead and are compensating for telehealth services that would previously have been non-covered.
It is quite clear that telehealth is here to stay and will become part of your practice’s “new normal.”
Sunlit Cove Healthcare Consultants can help you create a telehealth roadmap for your practice. Contact us or give us a call at (727) 278-3009 to get started.
Sunlit Cove Healthcare Consultants
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