Telehealth is changing how people access healthcare. And the coronavirus crisis is accelerating this shift.
The coronavirus pandemic is putting an unprecedented strain on our healthcare system. Fortunately, this is happening at a time when technology has made telehealth services practical. People have Internet access in their homes, and it is easy to use video chat and connected health tech devices to send data to healthcare professionals.
The virus crisis has accelerated the use of telehealth services, and both public and private organizations are making changes to help more patients take advantage of it. For example, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have expanded reimbursement policies for remote patient services. The agency now also allows physicians to treat patients across state boundaries when using telehealth.
The Department of Health and Human Services has relaxed some of the HIPAA requirements for telehealth as well, so healthcare professionals can use certain communications services that have not been HIPAA certified.
And Teledoc, one of the leading telehealth providers, reported a 50% increase in virtual visits from one week to the next. Allowing doctors to help patients remotely will help flatten the curve and keep us all healthier.