12 Apr What’s Next For Telehealth After Covid-19?
It only took a Covid-19 pandemic to prove that we can overcome the technology barriers of telehealth implementation.
According to the Medical Economics® 2020 Telehealth-EHR survey:
More than 77% of doctors surveyed used telehealth for the first time because of COVID-19.
Telehealth is no longer the “new kid on the block.” We can finally stop talking about the reasons “why not” to use it. There is no longer a sense that telehealth is a considerable risk.
The pandemic quickly proved many healthcare organizations wrong and established that telehealth could be a lifeline for many practices.
So how will the telehealth game play out in the future?
During the pandemic, telehealth visits were charged at the same rate as in-person visits. 100% telehealth reimbursement will most likely stop after the pandemic is over. In order for telehealth to stay, our government has to come up with a reasonable fee structure associated with the remote visits.
2. Wearable Medical Devices
The old saying: “where there is a will, there is a way,” holds true for finding innovative solutions that keep patients at home. In combination with wearable technologies like Apple Watch or FitBit, the possibilities are endless. For example, cardiologists at Stanford Children’s Health can monitor their young patients at home, thanks to EKG monitoring patches; and Fitbit and Stanford Medicine are starting a study to identify early signs of viruses like COVID-19 in student-athletes playing college sports.
3. Chronic Disease Management
In the Healthcare Coalition survey of about 2,000 doctors, 73% said they would like to continue using telemedicine to conduct chronic disease management appointments after COVID-19.
CMS is already facing a challenge to have telehealth included in the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program, both during and after the COVID-19.
4. Rural Access
Telehealth is a vital component for patients who have a disability or live in areas with limited transportation options. President Joe Biden approved the COVID-19 relief plan that includes $8.5 billion of funding for rural hospitals and health care centers. Rural hospitals are not just providing quality health care, but they also offer jobs for the community.
There is no doubt about the success of this expansion of telehealth. After the pandemic - with a reasonable fee structure - people will spend less time traveling to and from healthcare facilities and still receiving high-quality care virtually. Sunlit Cove Healthcare Consultants can help you identify challenges and opportunities and realistically evaluate your virtual care processes.Contact us or give us a call at (727) 278-3009 to get started.
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