Telehealth, Research Paper Example

Pages: 1

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Research Paper

Health care delivery is undergoing a profound change. Indeed, whereas previously a majority of a patient’s care would be delivered in a hospital or a clinical setting, with the advent of new technology,  patients are receiving care across a spectrum of different locations and modalities. This “technological revolution” will change existing commercial strategies market structures in health care in two ways: 1) traditional providers will need to expand their service offering and partnerships; 2) new reimbursement schemes will need to account for less office visits, but a closer relationship between patient and doctor outside the office.

Overall, the main impact of new technologies is to “untether” the patient from the clinical setting and traditional reimbursement schema.  Previously, patients needed to enter the clinic or hospital to have basic procedures performed such as telling a doctor about their symptoms, taking their vital signs, or following  up on how a new medication regime was progressing . With the telehealth and the internet, however, patients can now be seen over the internet; their vitals can be recorded by apps and sent to their doctor for careful watch on a daily basis. While this may mean more convenience for the patient, it means greater a challenge for traditional providers.  Hospital and doctor groups could easily charge for a visit: what about an ongoing relationship with the patient via email or  telehealth technology? The same is true for nursing homes that typically earned a bulk of their money from looking after patients rather than have individuals at home receiving care.  The new health delivery modalities not only mean that health care institutions will have to embrace them, they will also need to establish new systems of reimbursement (similar to concierge) that do not necessarily comport with the current charge for an event system based.  The other main factor is cost.  If traditional providers are able to provide better care at lower cost, they will benefit in the long run by providing better care at lower prices;

Sources

Informationweek Healthcare. (January 19, 2012)  Telehealth reimbursement will grow, health leaders say. Available at: http://www.informationweek.com/healthcare/mobile-wireless/telehealth-reimbursement-will-grow-healt/232500108.

Ho, A.H. The telehealth promise: better health care and cost savings for the 21st century.  Available at: http://telehealth.utmb.edu/presentations/The%20Telehealth%20Promise-Better%20Health%20Care%20and%20Cost%20Savings%20for%20the%2021st%20Century.pdf.

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