Industry Recognizing Value of Telehealth

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Karen Utterback By Karen Utterback 
Former Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, McKesson (Retired)

Telehealth RecognitionA little recognition goes a long way. We have been touting the benefits of telehealth for years, so it’s refreshing to see a recent report from analyst Frost & Sullivan that shows the top uses of telehealth in home healthcare.

The top five (in order) are:

  •  Home healthcare and disease management monitoring
  •   Remote doctor and specialist services
  •   Personal emergency response systems (PERSs)
  •   Video diagnostic consultation
  •   Remote cardiac services

According to the research, these five uses generate more than $1.9 billion in revenue in the North American market. The firm defines telehealth as remote patient monitoring, mHealth and video telemedicine, calling the industry in a news release “one of the most confusing, yet transformative, spaces in the world.”

Personally, I don’t feel there is anything confusing about the use of telehealth among home care agencies. Although Medicare and Medicaid currently don’t reimburse for the use of telehealth, innovative agencies are maximizing the use of staff, monitoring and educating their patients and showing their value to physician groups and hospital systems through the use of telehealth systems.

Telehealth will continue to grow as insurers push for care in the lowest-cost setting possible, providers team up to coordinate care for specific patient populations, and hospitals are punished financially for failing to reduce readmissions. These three reasons make a compelling case for the use of telehealth. As part of a comprehensive clinical and agency management solution, telehealth can bring incredible value – both to patients as well as the agency.

“Telehealth is quickly transitioning from the best kept secret in healthcare to becoming persistently demanded by professionals and patients alike,” states the news release.

Now that’s a statement I can agree with.

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