Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 2021-11-30 18:17:17 –
Denver, Colorado — Telemedicine has become a valuable tool in the early stages of a pandemic. Doctors believe it stays here, but state regulations can limit the level of care a person receives.
Dr. Christopher Sharp, Chief Medical Information Officer at Stamford Medicine and Stamford Healthcare, said:
Clinics and medical facilities such as Stanford Medicine took care of them online when the pandemic shutdown began.
“It’s not just about a particular discipline or niche that does it, it’s everyone in every discipline,” says Dr. Sharp.
Accessible care has become important for several reasons.
“Because we provide very professional care, patients have very professional needs and may not be able to meet local care needs, so a very large catchment area. It can come from, “Dr. Sharp said. “Another good example of this is a transplant patient, a patient who has come to an organ transplant. It is very important that the doctor who is already part of the care is still part of the care.”
However, there is one problem. During public health emergencies, all 50 states used emergency authority to waive state license requirements for doctors to help patients receive care while evacuating to appropriate locations. .. This allowed doctors to see patients in unlicensed states. Some of these exemptions will expire.
“The method we are currently doing requires asking the patient at the time of the visit. If you are not in any of these approved states at the time of your visit, you have to tell us what you can do, so where are you now?” Please be careful and proceed. And it’s very annoying for both patients and caregivers, “Dr. Sharp said.
As of November 8, 27 states and DCs have completed the state of emergency, but according to the Alliance for Connected Care county, 23 states continue to carry out the state of emergency.
“I think these exemptions were supposed to last for a few weeks,” said Kyle Zevely, vice president of public policy for the American Telemedicine Association. He said the state is trying to remove barriers to access to care, but generally stricter rules are in place.
“If you’re trying to provide care to a patient outside the state you live in, the state you have a license for, you have to go through the process of getting a license in another state,” he said. Explained.
Due to these hurdles, telemedicine hasn’t gone anywhere yet.
“The telemedicine industry is expected to grow for about 10 years in the last 18 months,” says Zebley.
According to information collected in July by consulting firm McKinsey & Company, telemedicine utilization is about 38 times higher than before the pandemic.
Platforms like the emergency telemedicine company Hippo Health saw it first hand.
“Before COVID, Hippo saw a 25% increase in paid users each month. When COVID hit, paid users increased by 1,200%,” said Hippo Health’s Vice President of Business Development and Operations. One Brent Thor says.
Telemedicine has become an important part of the care of many patients. As more exemptions expire, the federal government could play a role in cooperating with the state on cross-border treatment solutions, Zebley said.
“For over 150 years, the license issue has been the territory of the state, the interests of the state,” he said. “What the federal government can do is, for example, encourage states on the premise that they will actively adopt their own licensing flexibility legislation.”
“In its current state, the only way to keep it perfectly legal and appropriate in this regard is to get approval at the individual physician level in multiple states,” said Dr. Sharp.