Tele-Medicine growth and adoption challenges

Tele-medicine has been around for years and continues to grow, albeit slowly. One of the challenges in the growth of tele-medicine also known by its secondary names of virtual-care/tele-health,  is physician adoption and the often cumbersome and unclear rules regarding reimbursement.

In healthcare, it is well-known if Medicare or other private party insurers will reimburse for a service, providers will follow quickly behind and start providing that service, which makes sense.

Medicare has long been criticized for its narrow restrictions on the coverage and reimbursement of tele-health services.  And unfortunately, thanks to the snail’s-pace rate of legislative change at the federal level, not much has changed in the last few years, despite the huge jump in patient demand for virtual care.

What explains physicians’ low interest in virtual care technologies?

Lack of full reimbursement, by many carriers, complex licensing requirements, and the high cost of the technologies needed have contributed to slow adoption. Reliability and security are also issues: Many physicians are concerned about medical errors (36 percent) and data security and privacy (33 percent). Workflow and integration into their other systems is also a concern.  Patient’s lack of bandwith (rural settings) or tech devices to perform tele-medicine visits also poses challenges.

Here is a great article on the issue and a full report by Deloitte Insights.

Beckers Hospital Review-Telehealth

Deloitte Insights 2018 Survey US Physicians-Telehealth

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