Telehealth Services in Post-Pandemic Healthcare
The COVID-19 pandemic increased medical professionals’ acceptance of telehealth. However, the market is still out about whether it will continue to be a critical component of health care service once the pandemic has passed.
Medical professionals are developing telehealth facilities, using a range of audio and video technologies to make connections. The reason behind this idea is that they are anxious about exposing patients and family members to COVID-19.
Despite rising digital healthcare adoption, the telehealth industry still faces obstacles, such as technological issues and insurance coverage problems. This raises numerous questions about a digital health market, and a regulatory future that is somewhat vague.
However, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US regulations have progressed. Although several individual states officially closed or delayed their meetings in March, nearly every state used executive actions, insurance regulations and directives, and Medicaid bulletins to promote telehealth.
Telehealth During COVID-19 Pandemic
With the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic in Feb 2020, healthcare facilities around the world started to initiate or extend telehealth initiatives in order to move as much treatment as necessary into the digital world.
After a year, the curve is going back in the opposite direction, with in-person treatment being more accessible and telemedicine visits decreasing. While some reports indicate the change is a death knell for virtual treatment, others believe the health sector is simply seeking stability in an unstable setting.
Suppliers are searching through varying patient demands and an unpredictable billing environment to determine what can be achieved with telemedicine and what also requires in-person care.
A common belief persists that although incorporating technology into healthcare is a good thing, healthcare is ultimately a service sector.
Furthermore, some analysts point out that use has slowed as the number of COVID-19 cases worldwide has decreased. Virtual care visits accounted for 21% of overall contacts by the month of June 2021, falling from 69 percent at the pandemic’s height in April 2020, according to data from EHR giant Epic.
That being said, some experts confirm that as the coronavirus reappeared in the fall and winter seasons, the request for telemedicine services started to rise again. For example, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, more than 30 states registered more COVID-19 cases in April 2021 than the month before.
Telehealth Services in Post-Pandemic Future
Even before the disease outbreak, there was never a compelling need to invest in telehealth technology. Most doctor-patient interactions took place face to face. This did not require special equipment, applications and high-speed Internet connections.
With the disease, came emergency steps that removed those requirements. This allowed the hospitals to set up and test out various telemedicine services that are likely to be required in the post-pandemic future.
Even as the home begins to be a much more pivotal care environment for the patient and clinics and medical centers continue to contend with COVID-19 headwinds, telehealth — and the health sector as a whole — is still seeking the compromise between traditional and digitally delivered treatment.
How to Develop Telehealth Services in Post-Pandemic Healthcare?
Telehealth must remain a part of healthcare systems’ post-pandemic improved patient-doctors communication process. The following areas must be resolved in order to ensure and provide sustainability:
- The COVID-19 national emergency regulation updates, such as no limitations on source sites, no restrictions on physicians providing telehealth services from their homes, and doctors not having to be authorized in the state where the patient is located, must stay in effect and be implemented immediately. In addition, HIPAA enforcement should be strictly controlled.
- Recipients of Medicare and Medicaid should have no limits on their coverage. Reimbursement rates must also be consistent with physical visits. Private insurers aim to follow Medicare’s lead.
- Some areas of medicine, such as telepsychiatry, are better suited to telemedicine services than many others. Telehealth networks should review data obtained during visits to assess the professions that are perfectly adapted for telehealth in the future.
- Telehealth facilities are not available to all patients due to a lack of broadband internet and/or hardware. To address this social inequality, strategies must be created to deliver equipment to those who need it most.
It’s confirmed that telehealth grew steadily during the pandemic. However, we are already seeing a small decrease in usage as patients return to see their clinicians in person. Even though we emerge from the outbreak, telehealth has become a permanent and viable method of delivering healthcare services.
To ensure that digital healthcare and telehealth continues to be a viable model of health systems in the post-pandemic future, it’s critical to concentrate on the problems that can make telehealth utilization difficult in today’s setting.
How to Support Telehealth Services After COVID-1 Pandemic?
To maintain and develop the role and importance of telehealth, a number of complex concerns must be resolved. These questions include: developing the economic impact and compensation for remote care, improved management in a new improved clinical framework that fits nicely into the healthcare service EMR, continued easing of government regulations that have suppressed implementation of telehealth in the past, and a push toward the use of artificial intelligence.
It’s critical that insurance coverage continues to benefit both providers and medical institutions financially. It’s also critical that the conventional way of providing health care be repurposed. This should fully connect with multi-modal patient care, whether at home, online, or in a conventional medical environment.
Telemedicine and virtual patient management technologies must be further incorporated into EHR platforms in order to boost healthcare’s “virtual gate“. For the client, this implementation should be smooth and straightforward. They will need to have a “single step” access to the physician and other vital services and facilities.
Furthermore, we must assist clinicians in learning a new “online manner” in order to promote most of these latest technological integrations. Finally, policy problems from the past must be resolved. Healthcare companies should fully accept this modern way of providing care. We also need to prevent more adoption issues in the post pandemic future.Health IT