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DOCTORS, INSURERS EMBRACE TELEMEDICINE, BUT OBSTACLES REMAIN

In Telemedicine by Data Dimensions

With many aspects of modern life moving, at least in part, to the virtual world, it’s no wonder that medical care would do likewise. Telemedicine, with physicians offering diagnosis and treatment via phone or online connection, has grown dramatically in the past few years and is sure to become even more popular as technology improves and acceptance grows. Here, according to a recent article, are telemedicine trends to watch in 2020 and beyond.

  • More insurers covering telemedicine: Medicare, which as recently as 2019, did not cover some types of remote patient monitoring and telehealth services, now covers those. Also, 24 states (and Washington, D.C.) now have laws mandating that private insurers cover telemedicine in the same way they cover in-person services.
  • More doctors using telemedicine: According to a survey conducted by American Well, physician use of telemedicine services increased 340 percent between 2015 and 2018. In 2015, only 5 percent of doctors used telemedicine services. But by 2018, 22 percent of doctors used telemedicine in their practice. And that number is growing, driven by increased acceptance of telemedicine by patients.
  • Some obstacles to telemedicine remain: According to a 2018 survey of physicians and consumers, while 90 percent of physicians view telemedicine positively, only 14 percent had the capability to conduct a “virtual visit.” Also, for physicians who’ve been out of school for many years, learning about telemedicine can be a challenging process.

If your organization is looking for a way to take advantage of these new concepts and technologies, check with a reliable provider to show you the advantages of telemedicine.