Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Telehealth and televideo.....their time has come

Telemedicine, teleheath and televideo have much to offer to increase access for patient care.  A large number of technical advances, such as broadband, wireless communications, smartphone, laptop and PC tablets have opened a new tool for patient care.

Consumers are already comfortable with banking online from a smartphone, ordering food, produce, clothes and almost any consumer product online.

Recent analyses have shown that those over the age of 65 are participating in this 'new age'.

The remaining obstacles are jurisdictional, from state to state. Physicians are licensed in individual states. State medical boards have been lagging behind. The title of this article illuminates the administrative burden to make such change.

Medical Boards are rightly concerned about quality of care and the competence of physicians. The jurisdictional issues are in a state of flux.  And most likely it will be decided state to state, one at a time. The first several changes may take some time, however once it passes the initial phase it will expand exponentially Issues such as population density, the physician to patient ratio, and the inertia of regulations will all play a role in the transition.

Reimbursement is also an important factor, as many insurers did not cover telemedicine or telehealth services.  This is changing rapidly as Medicare leads the change.  In the past Medicare has been loathe to add more services as a mechanism of limiting health costs to the government.  Surveys show that the ROI of tele-solutions for initial diagnosis and treatment lowers the overall cost of a chronic disease.

Quality-adjusted life year (QUALY) is a generic measure of disease burden including
both the quality and quantity of life lived. It is used in economic evaluation to assess the value for money of medical interventions. 

Telehealth promises to scale physician time, allowing one physician to monitor or instruct multiple patients in their own home.

Florida moves forward on telemedicine, Texas remains in the past - FierceHealthIT

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