Telehealth is seeing more and more use. However, it still needs to be precisely what it can and cannot be used for, as shown by the debates about allowing eye care use. Currently, around 30 states allow this to some extent. In contrast, several others have banned it. The Michigan Legislature is one of the latest to examine the issue.

For those who are curious, the Michigan Legislature is minimally examining the issue. The proposal is to let contact lens users get eye exams conducted via telehealth. However, there are precautions built into the proposal to limit potential problems. For example, people need a prescription from an eye doctor before getting any eye care via telehealth. Similarly, people need an in-person eye exam if their telehealth eye exam says their prescription has changed. Effectively, this means that the proposal is intended for just contact lens users seeking a renewal while their prescription hasn’t changed.

Both the arguments for this proposal and the arguments against this proposal are very similar to those voiced in other debates on the issue. Generally speaking, people support telehealth for eye care because they believe it will lead to better health outcomes. This is because people will have an easier time accessing such services, thus increasing people’s chances of using them regularly. Something significant because catching potential problems early makes it much easier to treat them. Furthermore, telehealth tends to lower the cost of such services, which has a similar effect.
Meanwhile, people oppose telehealth for eye care because such services aren’t as good as their in-person counterparts.

For instance, an eye exam conducted via telehealth can reveal the prescription, but it can’t examine the eye for the signs of severe eye problems that can lead to blindness or worse. There is a possibility patients may decide to go for eye exams via telehealth because of their increased convenience while skipping out on in-person eye exams to cover this other critical aspect of eye care.

The adoption of telehealth has increased significantly since the pandemic began. Covid-19 has made it more urgent and necessary for health providers and patients to use telehealth. All available evidence and data on telehealth, such as a survey on investor confidence, provider attitudes, consumer adoption, and preference, indicate that telehealth will be helpful for a long time to come. It might play a more significant role in the healthcare delivery system. However, it is unclear how the policymaker and payer will treat telehealth when covid-19 decreases.

These are the four questions that policymakers and payers are analyzing to evaluate the function that telehealth should perform. The answers to these questions could help them decide what services can be offered, under what circumstances, from what locations, by whom, and at what price.

1. Is telehealth comparable to in-person care?

This is one of the nagging questions that weigh heavily on the minds of payers, providers, patients, and policymakers. There are concerns that telemedicine delivery can produce gaps in antibiotic prescribing. There is also the problem of primary care that if it is done correctly, it can offer quality care and at the same time reduce costs down the road. Can telemedicine that does not focus on care continuity make sure that there are care continuity and better outcomes in the long run?

Several telehealth providers have been able to achieve care continuity. For example, PlushCare emphasizes building doctors and patients during the whole care journey to offer care continuity that stresses quality. Doctor-On-Demand allows patients to have return visits to the same provider. It has a multifaceted approach to ensuring clinical quality, such as continuous accountability, ongoing professional development, credentialing, and accreditation.

To ensure that patient outcomes are at the same level as traditional HealthcareHealthcare or better, it will be advisable for all telehealth companies to collect and invest in data. That requires buying technology that gathers data, buying quality-scoring frameworks, and buying quality-measurement studies that show that they offer quality care and monitor patient outcomes after some time.

2. Can Telemedicine make Healthcare more accessible to underprivileged individuals?

There is a common debate in the telehealth companies that boosting telemedicine options can help get access to communities that usually face challenges accessing health care. This sounds possible in theory, especially for people in remote areas where healthcare providers are few, but it is not valid in reality. This is because internet connectivity in those areas is a big problem that can inhibit the reach, impact, and telemedicine adoption.

Among the minority communities such as Hispanics and blacks, the problems are complex, such as logistical challenges, trust, cultural/language, and cost. Studies show that telemedicine is more successful among people with higher education, higher income, and urban consumers.

Telehealth providers have been trying to tailor their services to these communities. For example, He & Hers has been collaborating with partners to come up with solutions. It founded Telehealth Equity Coalition, which comprises organizations such as American Telehealth Association and National Health IT Collaborative. He & Hers also accept cash payments that are endearing to minority communities who cannot afford insurance. They charge $39 per visit.

3. Could overutilization in Healthcare occur due to increased use in Telemedicine?

Overutilization fears might continue to be in the center of telemedicine’s pursuit of better policy frameworks—the discussion about overutilization trumps quality. Money is usually the main factor that affects policy decision-making and technology adoption in HealthcareHealthcare. The Telehealth industry has the obligation of proving that it provides quality care at affordable rates.

4. Is there an increased risk of fraud due to the use of Telemedicine?

Billions of dollars have been lost through telehealth frauds. A few dishonest providers can ruin things for everyone. Considering that abuse and fraud problems happen across the healthcare industry, if the telehealth industry can answer the other questions and companies work more challenging to operate more transparently, it should give policymakers and payers confidence and trust.

The worldwide pandemic has led to the dawn of a new kind of medical care in treating common health issues. Known as telehealth, this new type of medical care is done online. Doctors and patients meet virtually through a portal to chat by video regarding symptoms.

Routine virtual health checkups have many advantages for those with high LDL levels. There are many pros, including access to educational materials designed for making better lifestyle choices. You can openly discuss options with your doctor during an online session. And the odds are excellent that you can have a handy list of all medications and supplements convenient.

Telehealth enables you to schedule an appointment in a much shorter amount of time without the hassle of commuting. You won’t need to worry about long wait times in a crowded lobby and can get service right away.

 You can check in with your physician and receive feedback on lowering your LDL level. Discussing better treatment options through video or online chat will be more detailed. The focus is more on you and your needs.

Doctors have good reason to celebrate the use of telehealth. They can look forward to the idea of offering insight into making lifestyle changes in diet, exercise, and weight loss. Plus, they can have a conversation on medication and make adjustments to it as needed.

Hearing a patient’s concern about the effectiveness of high cholesterol prescriptions is key to making tweaks in the dosage. Plus, a more thorough assessment of any recent blood work can be caused due to less time pressure.

Your doctor or clinic may have access to the latest technology in measuring your cholesterol levels. Or they may recommend certain apps that record data on your exercise levels and track your calories. Telehealth may be the most affordable checkup out there.

Telehealth works very well when done in combination with an office visit. You can discuss vitals, lab results, and other issues. You’ll have your virtual visit right at home. And with more people choosing to remain healthy in place, virtual medicine is the wave of the future.

There is no denying the effect of COVID-19 on the world. It has changed how we do the most fundamental things, such as shopping, going to school or work, dining out, and medical appointments. One of the most significant emerging medical practices since the beginning of the pandemic has been telehealth. For some branches of medicine, this is relatively simple. Psychologists, for example, can quickly turn what would have been an office visit into a telehealth appointment via phone or computer. But for hematologists, making the switch was not without difficulties.

However, telehealth has provided the best way to avoid possible exposure to COVID-19. After adapting their practices to allow for video-based services to limit patient exposure to the pandemic, hematologists began to see improved patient satisfaction numbers. There are still some significant obstacles to providing everyone with telehealth services. One of the biggest is the lack of communication available for patients living in an area with little or no wi-fi signal. Another is the hesitancy of some patients to become involved with these appointments due to fears of HIPPA rights being violated.

So, where do hematologists go from here? Though things have improved for many patients, there is still work to be done regarding some at-risk groups, such as the elderly, those without proper insurance, and those with little income. Many patients have had their fears assuaged regarding HIPPA procedures after months of successful telehealth appointments. Telehealth is much more likely to expand following the pandemic, adding even more services for patients.

Patients have even begun embracing their telehealth appointments. They are incredibly convenient. You answer the phone or sign on to speak to your doctor instead of having to drop everything for a face-to-face visit. Your appointment will take less time than a regular visit, leaving more time to enjoy. As time passes, hematologists will likely continue to utilize telehealth technology and incorporate more tasks into non-contact visits. Telehealth holds rewards for everyone, from the physician to the patient, allowing proper treatment without face-to-face contact.