Telehealth exploded in popularity in 2020 following the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Services that had previously only been offered onsite were moved to online, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services expanded reimbursement. With telehealth so important in 2022, many of those temporary reimbursements have been made permanent, and healthcare facilities have begun assessing their once emergent telehealth solutions.
With most industries returning to pre-pandemic operations, it is easy to assume that healthcare will follow suit and resume mostly in-person operations. The past few years exposed consumer and provider telehealth preference in a way that had not been seen prior. Below are the three main reasons telehealth is important in 2022.
1. Patient Preference.
In early 2021 the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition partnered with the AMA to perform a COVID-19 Telehealth Impact Study. Thousands of patients were polled. The overwhelming majority of respondents reported a good experience with telehealth, and would like to continue to use it going forward. Another survey found that 88% percent of respondents want to continue to use telehealth services for non-emergent consultations following our return to normalcy.
2. Provider Experience.
Providers were also surveyed in the COVID-19 Telehealth Impact Study, and 68% reported that they desired to continue the use of telehealth in their facilities. Telehealth is not appropriate for every healthcare conversation, but providers identified chronic disease management, medical management, care coordination, preventative care, and hospital/emergency follow-up as areas that are particularly suited for telehealth visits.
3. Health Equity Through Increased Access
There are several barriers to providing strong telehealth services, including technology access among patients, medical technology integration concerns (for example, EHR integration), and medical liability exposure, but overall telehealth solves far more problems than it creates. Telehealth makes it so that patients do not need to travel to see a provider. This opens a statewide or even nationwide network of healthcare professionals to anyone at home. Individuals living in remote areas or in medical deserts no longer need to forgo care. Mental health service, in particular, saw a tremendous telehealth growth. The availability of telehealth services opens healthcare to patient populations that had previously been underserved.
As a telehealth integrator, IDS specializes in creating the best telehealth services possible within healthcare institutions. We bring together the best hardware and software in the industry to design a programs that are custom-fit to the institutions they serve. We excel at building telehealth strategy into existing care workflows, and can provide ongoing managed services to ensure maximum efficiency and up time.
If you are ready to revitalize your telehealth services in 2022, look no further than IDS. Visit our Contact Us page now to learn more.