In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic quickened the adoption of telehealth as many members turned to remote, virtual care services as a way of managing their health while limiting their exposure to the coronavirus. The unusual circumstances have driven acceptance levels—by providers, insurers, and members—in record time.
“The pandemic single-handedly reignited the health care industry’s interest in telehealth,” said Ricky Garcia, MBA, director of strategy, innovation and population health at Premier, a healthcare improvement company. In just a handful of months, the industry reached a level of clinical and operational change that could have otherwise taken a decade or more, he told First Report Managed Care.
Federal and state regulatory flexibilities have also played a key role in supporting widespread adoption as policy changes enabled different technologies, clinical staff, and care sites to be used to deliver services. Mr Garcia anticipates that “these flexibilities will be difficult to completely unwind and will largely remain in place post-pandemic, further buoying the long-term market outlook for telehealth.”
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