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What the White House’s new ruling means for telehealth

Oct 14, 2020 | Telemedicine Blog

critical investments

The government continues to make telehealth more accessible. This past August, a new Executive Order was signed that significantly expanded access to telehealth services for months to come. According to the official White House briefing, this order is especially important to rural communities that typically have a harder time accessing healthcare.

Now that a couple months have passed since this Executive order was released, it’s important to see how this new change impacts patients, providers and insurers alike, and understand the details of the Executive Order. Let’s explore some of the things you should know about this new expansion of telehealth access.

Critical investments expand telehealth access

The Executive Order emphasizes the important role telehealth has played during the pandemic. Not only has it allowed patients to be screened for symptoms from a distance, but it also helped important routine appointments take place and reduce overcrowded waiting rooms.

Now, the administration is making strategic moves to ensure everyone in the nation can receive access to this convenient healthcare option. The expanded use of virtual care technology proposed by the government involves building on the work the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have already done. By allowing additional types of practitioners and channels for communication to be used for telehealth, they can continue to improve the access to high-quality care Medicare has already doubled since the pandemic began.

Similarly, the Executive Order also highlights that the Department of Veterans Affairs has already taken action to improve telehealth access to veterans and military families, and the administration is committed to helping them continue expanding. Perhaps most importantly, however, is the commitment the government is expressing to invest in rural telecommunications infrastructure. The promise of new payment models and technologies will help empower remote hospitals to serve more patients spread out over a larger area.

All of this is to say that the government has clearly seen the benefits of virtual care, Medicare, and expanding coverage and accessibility to patients. This commitment to keep supporting and improving telecommunications technologies in rural communities is a positive push for a future where telehealth is the norm, not the expectation.

Broader implications of the Executive Order

While The White House briefing focused heavily on the expansion of telehealth in rural America, their messaging truly highlights that telehealth is here to stay. As PBS NewsHour explained, this order is the catalyst for a much larger move to adopt telehealth across different healthcare practices. The news source speculates that there will likely be more legislation in the future that could “permanently open up telehealth as an option for all people with Medicare.”

For instance, while telecommunications is currently used for connecting physicians and patients to discuss health symptoms, soon Medicare could cover a different span of services. This means  services that could soon be covered include urgent care visits, nurse consultations or speech therapy. With government support and new technology making virtual care visits more accessible and secure, telehealth in healthcare will be much more prevalent.

This is, undoubtedly, a move that healthcare professionals must continue to closely monitor. If your existing telemedicine systems need updating, now is the time to invest in new technologies and security measures to be able to compete in today’s competitive healthcare landscape and safely serve new and existing patients. Of course, updating your telehealth capabilities can feel difficult in the moment, but that’s where a trusted partner can be indispensable.

Telehealth makes it easier for physicians to safely connect with rural patients.Telehealth makes it easier for physicians to safely connect with rural patients.

Preparing your practice for a future in telehealth

The recent White House ruling outlines a positive future for telehealth. With a plan to improve telehealth access in rural areas and underserved communities, and the increase in clinical efficacy of virtual care visits, reimbursement and patient adoption will only grow. If your healthcare organization wants to sustain a healthy business model the experts at AMD Global Telemedicine are here to help.

After almost three decades of experience in telemedicine and telehealth, we understand that every use case is unique and requires different workflows and processes to fit your practice. Our telemedicine solutions are flexible and scalable enough to integrate with your existing hardware and software components and grow as your facility and patient needs expand. Your solution can be deployed immediately to meet the expectations of the current healthcare climate while your final result will be uniquely tailored to your needs.

Let AMD Global Telemedicine be your partner in telehealth today and for years to come. As the new Executive Order shows us, telehealth is the way to improve access to care now and in the future. As more patients demand this convenient communications method and the government makes it more accessible, your practice will be ready to continue providing them with quality care.

Contact us today to start moving your telehealth offerings in the right direction.

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