The current coronavirus pandemic affecting the whole world has seen telemedicine rules eased. This is unlike before, where professionals in telehealth had to follow specific laws to legally help their patients and make a decent living from it. Former US representative, Rick Boucher, who is also the Internet Innovation Alliance’s honorary chair, suggests that “things need to remain as they are, even after the pandemic is over.”
Without strict laws on telehealth experts, there is a lot of flexibility. It is currently more comfortable for people to access the health services they need from wherever they are. Before, a patient had to physically visit a hospital or a clinic to talk to a specialist. Today, they can do it from the comfort of their homes using their smartphones or computers. This kind of communication between patients and health experts saves time and expenses. The patient does not have to fuel the car so that they can go and see the doctor. The doctors offering these services have also confirmed to be seeing more patients comfortably.
Now that telehealth rules have been abolished temporarily, all patients can access the medical care they need whether or not they are in a rural or urban setup. Before the pandemic, only patients in rural areas were allowed to get telemedicine. This limitation prohibited those in urban and suburban settings to access quality medical health electronically even if they had the finances needed.
Telehealth laws need to be reinstituted because telemedicine specialists are getting just as much money as regular doctors. In the past, telemedicine consultants have been reimbursed at a lower rate compared to their counterparts who were attending to patients physically. Undoubtedly, they are more motivated and committed to providing the best medical services they can. In earlier days, the rules stated that they had to work at a lower rate than that of doctors offering their services from a medical institution.
It is now clear that telehealth is more efficient without the Telemedicine rules on telemedicine consultants and patients.