Health systems, clinics and private practices pivoted swiftly to telemedicine when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but video services were not prepared for a titanic influx of users.
Health industry leaders are pushing Congress and the Biden administration to preserve the pandemic-fueled expansion of telehealth that has transformed how millions of Americans see the doctor.
Many of the new types of telemedicine being promoted by start-ups more clearly benefit providers’ and investors’ pockets, rather than yielding more high-quality and cost-effective medicine for patients.
The Department of Consumer and Business Services has struck an agreement with health insurance companies in Oregon to continue coverage through June 30 for in-network telehealth visits with providers.
Providers and hospitals across the country reported a dramatic rise in virutal visits this spring, and though in-person visits have since increased, telemedicine is expected to be here to stay.
“There are unscrupulous providers out there, and they have much greater reach with telehealth,” said Mike Cohen, an operations officer with the Health and Human Services Inspector General’s Office.
A sweeping telemedicine law won final passage in the House Thursday, requiring insurance companies to pay providers for healthcare services that are delivered via secure, synchronized video chats.
OPINION -- Chair Greenlick and members of the Health Care Committee,
I have previously testified before the Senate Health Care Committee on this telemedicine bill.