Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Has it Occurred to You . . .

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, , , that, if you’re not getting older,

you’re dead?

Future of Telemedicine is Now

Getting cured in cyberspace sounds like science fiction but it’s already here. Telemedicine – the practice of getting diagnosis and treatment via your laptop or cell phone – has been gaining traction rapidly as the way to monitor and maintain your health.

Accelerating this drive to remote medical servicing is the unavailability of health care in rural (and some urban) areas because of the diminishing number of doctors as the over-65 crowd grows at the rate of 10,000 people a day. As it stands, one out of five residents live in areas that have been identified as being short of health professionals.

Telemedicine opens the door to specialists as well as second medical opinions without taking up too much consulting time by the health experts contacted. It also reduces the stress on the patient as well as eliminating the need to travel to an appointment, which requires the patient to find a driver in many cases.

Seniors fretting about their lack of computer equipment or skills find a telephone conversation may work as well. Medicare has expanded its coverage of medical treatment by phone or computer. While not all health-insurance companies are following suit, several recognize telemedicine helps reduce the cost of health care.

For example, it allows primary care physicians to schedule appointments at any time and not just the traditional “office hours” and reduces unnecessary office and emergency-room visits. It also lowers the cost of patient no-shows.

A barrier in the way of expanding telemedicine is the reimbursement rules that require treatment to be conducted in specific sites, such as the doctor’s office or a health center to qualify. Government licensing laws also get in the way. 

Federal law requires telemedicine health-care providers to be fully licensed to practice medicine in the state where the patient is physically located. Providers in health systems that have locations in more than one state may need to apply for and pay to maintain multiple licenses.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 27, 2022 at 3:00 am

Posted in Health, News / Events

Tagged with ,

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