More than 8,000 telehealth carts worldwide, capable of enabling 4 million telehealth calls annually—it’s all part of the telehealth solution that has helped hospitalized COVID patients stay in touch with their loved ones, and even remotely attend a wedding. WCBV Boston’s Channel 5 documented that and more on a recent segment about Caregility and our contract manufacturing partner, Yorktel. Watch the piece on YouTube here.
Healthcare IT News
The US Department of Agriculture is investing $42.3 million ($24 million of which is coming from last year’s CARES Act) into rural telehealth infrastructure, Healthcare IT News reports. According to a recent report from the agency’s rural policy research arm, several factors have resulted in increased COVID infection and death rates in rural areas, with telehealth seen as an important part of the solution. Read more here.
The questions swirling around which parts of the historic telehealth expansion will be made permanent are beginning to come into focus as the new Congress and Biden administration have signaled support for making some of the country’s temporary measures around telemedicine more permanent. HHS Secretary nominee Xavier Becerra said during his Senate confirmation hearing, “If we don’t learn from COVID how telehealth can help save lives, then we’re in trouble.” Meanwhile, MedPage Today reported the House Committee on Energy and Commerce signaled bipartisan support for making Medicare reimbursement for telehealth permanent. Read more here.
2020 was the year the country was introduced to Virtual Care 1.0, writes Alyssa Jaffee in MedCity News, with widespread adoption of video-based consultations and a healthcare system presented with a mandate to deliver virtual care at scale. 2021 will be the year Virtual Care goes 2.0, with expanded platform functionality, broadening use cases, and expanding sites of care. Read more here.