Telemedicine Making Waves in Primary Urban Health Care Centers
Picture a single mom holding down a full-time job, pegged at an hourly rate, and also encumbered with the care of her two children—none older than five years. Say one of them falls ill, unexpectedly, from an asthmatic attack, flu or an eye infection. Her options seem limited to making a dash for the ER, after hours where she has access to medicine for her child or forfeiting her wages to consult a doctor. But here is the thing; telemedicine is an option. Unfortunately, it is uncharacteristic to get cover for this from significant bodies like Medicaid and Medicare or private payers. Subsequently, this translates to her spending approximately $40-55, if she wants to save time.
Telemedicine has been administered, in times gone by, through urban specialists in the advent to extend services into the rural areas. Keep in mind the inadequate supply of primary care doctors, nationwide, especially in the case of those who specialize and subspecialized. Consider getting a booking to see a doctor is not easy, it can take the duration of six months. And, this is not limited to the rural areas but typical of the urban areas as well. Then again other inconveniences imposed on urban patients are no access to transport, language barriers, and medicinal illiteracy. For these reasons, telemedicine seems a feasible option.
3 Factors hindering Telemedicine
Meanwhile, administration of telemedicine is hindered by:
Licensing: Telemedicine administered by medical practitioners is not readily available if they cannot practice freely state to state. Nonetheless, the Federation of State Medical Boards is actively involved in trying to make this a reality.
Equity: Private payers do not support the purchase of telemedicine in some states and their participation in rural areas is even less. On the other hand, parity laws work to facilitate the availability of telemedicine, more so in the urban areas.
Network: Poor communication network such as access to the internet is common to both the rural and urban areas. Improved cellular and broad facilities can reduce the frustration of patients in their access to telemedicine.
Stated a little differently, telemedicine is a revolutionary tool. Although looking at it from a theoretical point, it looks intricate, challenging and perhaps impractical. These are just a few things that can make telemedicine more effectual, flexible licensing, equity through parity laws, and improved network communication. Results include a healthier population, efficient distribution of medicine and better healthcare.