Technology | 06.22.20
Why Virtual Care Will Outlast the Pandemic
Politico (06/12/20) Ravindranath, Mohana
Telehealth has increased significantly since the start of the pandemic, and advocates of using technology in health care are pushing to carve out a permanent role for telehealth and warning that a rapid retrenchment could devastate patients while the coronavirus is still spreading. Since COVID-19 emerged, telehealth visits for Medicare seniors soared from a few thousand per week to just over 1.3 million. Providers said fewer low-income patients missed appointments at safety net clinics across the country -- from rural New Mexico to urban parts of Maryland — since they could more easily video chat their doctor without having to arrange transportation or childcare. Medicare used emergency powers to lift restrictions that generally limited telehealth payments to rural providers and doctors with existing relationships with patients. State Medicaid programs and private health insurers also relaxed stricter policies on virtual care.
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