Spotlight on Telemedicine

By Katy Mena-Berkley
Monday, January 6, 2020

The use of technology enhances communication between a growing number of clinicians and their patients.

Top Telehealth Tools

A variety of technological platforms offer options for physicians and families seeking the most effective ways to discuss health issues.

  • Electronic consultations
  • Remote monitoring
  • Videoconferencing
  • Wireless communications

Barriers to Access

  • Currently, Medicare offers limited coverage for many telehealth services. Among covered services are those to manage substance abuse and those to remotely evaluate and diagnose stroke in hospitals and other acute-care settings.
  • Healthcare facilities in rural areas may not have access to broadband services needed to deploy telehealth options.

On a Mission to Enhance Access

The American Hospital Association is taking steps to expand access to telehealth services throughout the country. AHA goals include:

  • Medicare coverage expansion
  • Enhanced broadband technology access
  • Increased research funding for telehealth benefits studies
  • Reduction of legal and regulatory challenges

The State of Telemedicine

50 States
Offer telemedicine at some level to Medicaid members.

Bill H.R. 1301
The Mental Health Telemedicine Expansion Act, which has bipartisan support in Congress, aims to amend the Social Security Act to allow Medicare coverage of certain mental health concerns via telemedicine.

Expanded telehealth regulations to include substance abuse treatment via telehealth.

Adopted a law to provide telehealth services to patients.

Expanded coverage of behavioral telehealth services for approximately 1.9 million people insured through Medicaid.