News & Commentary

What We’re Reading: The Telehealth Edition

May 15, 2017

Trends in emerging technologies continue to drive the health care conversation. Most recently, telehealth has been a key area of discussion and consideration for health care stakeholders. Take a look at a few recent articles exploring the latest in telehealth.

  • The Rand Corporation recently released a study in Health Affairs that found that telehealth increases access to health care. NPR Shots explored the findings of this study, which showed that the convenience of telehealth leads more patients to seek care who might have otherwise skipped a traditional doctor’s visit. In fact, 88 percent of telehealth visits in the study represented people who would not have otherwise gone to the doctor—a phenomenon called “new utilization.”
  • Telehealth and virtual care are complicated, but their potential for value is persuasive to many providers, according to  Managed Care Magazine.
  • Becker’s ASC Review reported on a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that found individual state Medicaid programs tended to use telehealth and remote patient monitoring services differently. The GAO report analyzed six states and their varied use of these technologies.
  • FierceHealthcare covered the evolving telehealth payment models. The article suggests that while the patient benefit of telehealth is established and its popularity is growing, payment policies are lagging somewhat behind.  
  • mHealthIntelligence also tackled the payment challenges of telehealth in an article that addresses the simultaneous popularity and sustainability issues of telehealth.
  • Despite these challenges, telehealth has great potential to provide health care for many, particularly those in rural areas, according to a white paper by the NTCA – Rural Broadband Association entitled, “Anticipating Economic Returns of Rural Telehealth.” The white paper, covered by Healthcare Informatics, suggests that the adoption of telehealth will result in cost savings to rural hospitals and their communities in the form of lower transportation costs, lower hospital costs, and increased revenues for local labs and pharmacies.

What are your thoughts on telehealth’s potential? Tweet us @ThinkAnthem to share your insights.

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