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August 15, 2016

Telehealth is becoming a no-brainer quickly

Though legislative hurdles remain in place for telemedicine, providing healthcare to patients via video is becoming a no-brainer for more and more healthcare providers and their patients. Far fetched as a means of providing remote healthcare is n its way to being considered just another delivery mechanism and an incredibly efficient means of accessing quality healthcare.

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According to an article on publicsectorview.com, many of the obstacles in adoption revolve around legislation and the lack of reimbursement availability for providers. This has thus far kept telehealth from fully taking off. But, in the US at least, recent changes in legislation are proving to be more favorable than before for telemedicine, even in states that have long held onto dated regulations.

The sites relates an article on Forbes, pointing out changing legislation in Arkansas. Previous legislation required an initial in-person encounter to establish a valid physician-patient relationship. Recently, however, the Arkansas Medical Board passed new rules allowing for the creation of a relationship through telemedicine. This means that a doctor can establish a valid relationship with a patient without the need for an in-person exam first.

In another example, in Texas a regulatory board turned down new restrictions to distance counseling that would have undermined the growth of telemedicine. And some months ago in Arizona a law was passed requiring private health plans to pay for telemedicine services across the whole state rather than only services received in rural areas of the state – though coverage is still limited to a set of telemedicine services rather than everything one would receive at an in-person setting. Hawai has also expanded coverage for telehealth services.

Publichealthview puts a focus on telemedicine as being beneficial to special interest groups such as disabled, veterans, and children around the world. In other publications a broader view is taken as telemedicine can provide any patient, MD or medical specialist with the means to save time and money and to provide consults much quicker than before. But in any case, ‘telehealth is without a doubt becoming synonymous with healthcare, and maybe in the near future, the delivery method won’t even be a factor.’

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