Telehealth News Roundup: Telehealth Expansion on the MarchBy: Caregility Team
This month, it was clear telehealth expansion is on the march. The Wall Street Journal reported on the record billions which poured into the sector in the beginning of 2021, nearly doubling the amount of investment that had come even in the record months at the end of 2020. This money is being used for new product development, expanded marketing, and even lobbying efforts, as STAT News reported. Meanwhile, state, and local officials continue their embrace of telehealth, with Arizona being the latest to make permanent many temporary expansions ordered during the pandemic.
Read on for our monthly roundup of the most significant developments in telehealth:
Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal recently documented both the enormous amount of investment that poured into digital health in Q1 of 2021 (a record $7 billion in venture capital) as well as the extreme vendor fatigue now being faced by digital and telehealth customers. “We are inundated,” the Journal quoted Meredith Touchstone of CarMax as saying. “We already have these very big portfolios of vendors. And with all this new stuff coming into the market, there’s no way to assess, literally thousands” of digital-health services now available.
STAT News reports all the new investment capital pouring into telehealth has helped these companies launch lobbying efforts to protect expanded telehealth measures. These include allowing physicians to practice across state lines and being able to charge Medicare the same for virtual visits as in-person ones. (Gated)
Foundation for Economic Education
By all accounts, few expansions have enjoyed such sudden, widespread support as the dramatically increased use of telehealth during the pandemic. The Foundation for Economic Education reported that the Arizona legislature has made permanent a series of executive orders from last year, issued by Governor Doug Ducey to expand telehealth in the state. The new legislation allows asynchronous services as a method of establishing a provider-patient relationship and prescribing or dispersing prescriptions; expands the list of telemedicine providers to include any clinical provider; and incorporates audio-only visits into the definition of telemedicine, among other changes.
Med City News
Writing in Med City News, The Cleveland Clinic’s Frank McGillan gives four predictions for how digital healthcare will transform the market and our expectations. Hint: they’re all good for consumers, from increased personalization, to availability of more “on-demand” services.