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Looking Ahead: Policies to Support Future Telehealth Innovation

Policy

Nearly everyone uses digital technologies for many aspects of their lives and has come to expect that same convenience in health care.

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Published on Sep 27, 2022

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Related Issues
Telehealth

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Summary

Telehealth provides new opportunities for care to be delivered more cost-effectively, which helps make coverage and care more affordable and accessible for everyone. Now, as we seek to move past the public health emergency (PHE), we have the opportunity to permanently change the standard of care by retaining the policies that enabled recent telehealth advancements for patients and consumers.

Key Takeaways

  • The COVID-19 pandemic led to an explosion of use in telehealth; though many health insurance providers offered telehealth as a covered service, the pandemic – and policy flexibilities granted under pandemic rules – allowed technology to proliferate among new providers and new users.
  • Policymakers at the federal and state levels must enable continued innovation in telehealth by ensuring health insurance providers and other stakeholders have flexibility to introduce new products and services that can benefit patients, while working to protect patient privacy and data security and combating fraud, waste, and abuse.
  • Telehealth can be an important tool to improve care delivery, and the technology should be leveraged to coordinate patient care across different providers, settings, and types of interaction, including audio-only services.
  • Health insurance providers are encouraged by the expansion and opportunities enabled by the growth in telehealth and are working to further support its clinically appropriate use for their members.