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Opportunities and hindrances for telehealth

June 16, 2020 | Farah Jassawalla

Prior to COVID-19, telemedicine was only a branch of the healthcare system. However, due to increased reliance on this branch, it has now entered into the mainstream. In the USA alone, studies found that there was a 23% increase in telemedicine usage in adults in the pandemic. One might think that using telemedicine would be easy, but the regulatory laws regarding it are quite vague. The federal government looks at the reimbursement and coverage section of telemedicine, while the states are mainly focused on insurance plans coverage. This causes confusion in patients since they are unaware of the services that are covered and which are not.

Emergency laws have been placed regarding telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic, which loosens the regulations and provides a clearer picture of telemedicine coverage to patients. There is now an increase in reimbursement and coverage of telemedicine services in the USA, along with an expansion in the telecommunication sector.

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