Darby Morgan posted Jul 13, 2020 7:37 PM
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Telehealth is an uprising resource that aids in caring for patients virtually. Telehealth was originally created to aid in the lack of healthcare resources in areas that had limited to no healthcare opportunities (Kleindienst Robler, Kokesh, Emmett, & Hofstetter, 2020). Telehealth provides a healthcare provider and patient interaction without the hassle of travel, waiting rooms, or insufficient appointment times. There has been debate on the use of telehealth because of the incapability to listen to heart and lung sounds or usage of appropriate touch.
However, with the recent rise in the usage of telehealth due to the COVID-19 pandemic AHC Media (2020) believes telehealth could be the new normal. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 77 million people in the US live in areas with minimal access to healthcare. With the recent increased demand for telehealth, these 77 million people are now having to share the availability with the remainder of the country that has access to healthcare, however, is now beginning to utilize this resource. Therefore, not only is there a current demand for physicians and other healthcare practitioners like nurse practitioners and physician assistants, but there is going to be even more of a need with the rise in telehealth demand.
In relation to U.S. government reimbursement policies in the state of Florida, the Agency of Health Care Administration (2020) states the Florida Medicaid program will reimburse practitioners according to the service provided. Florida Medicaid provides a chart that outlines what the reimbursement rate is for each service. This rate of reimbursement is different than that of in office visits or hospital care. However, physicians tend to utilize telehealth to care for those who do not have the luxury of in person care, those who cannot afford healthcare costs, or as a resource in increase the number of patients within the practice. Telehealth is a resource that allows flexibility for both the practitioner and the patient.
Agency for Health Care Administration. (2020). Florida Medicaid: a division of the agency for health care administration.
AHC Media. (2020). Shift to telehealth could remain trend after COVID-19: Reproductive health remains priority. Contraceptive Technology Update, 41(6), 1–4.
Kleindienst Robler, S., Kokesh, J., Emmett, S. D., & Hofstetter, P. (2020). Telehealth: the great equalizer. Audiology Today, 32(2), 14–23.