February 16, 2021

Will the newly-discovered benefits of telehealth remain in place?

My friend David Lind at the Heartland Health Research Institute has an interesting post on his blog today. HHRI Blog Post by David P. Lind  David's posts are always intriguing, but this one really hit a familiar and timely note.

Telemedicine is the ability to provide remote health care to a remote location, most appropriately at the patient's home by phone or video conference. It's a concept that would have been an incredible tool in the health care tool box, say, during a pandemic. And there's no question, use has skyrocketed over the past year. It remains to be seen if that trend will continue once this is all behind us.

Here's my two cents: It takes Congressional action to extend the emergency regulations now in place. In other words, if policy makers don't do their job concerning health care access, the folks who can most use telemedicine--those with mobility issues or who live in rural or impoverished areas of America--won't be able to get it. Of course, that's assuming they have broadband internet, a nice smart phone or computer and the know-how to set up a video call. Don't get me started . . .