Early desktop applications were targeted at automating existing manual processes. Take Computer Aided Design, which made it possible to create, edit and save a drawing digitally - imagine the countless hours spent doing this on paper. In healthcare, early telehealth applications linked patients and doctors without an office. But while each made things more efficient, they didn’t fundamentally change what could be done.
CMS reimbursement update and impact
In July of this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a fee schedule update that expands reimbursable telehealth services to include annual wellness visits and psychotherapy. Industry groups from the American Medical Association to the American Telemedicine Association and the American Hospital Association have released official statements supporting the changes. Reimbursement is consistently cited as a primary barrier to telehealth adoption and any expansion of covered services is good news, particularly coming from CMS which pays health care costs for 50 million Americans through Medicare.
Stroke care is a race against time. A stroke comes on quickly and effective stroke treatments need to be administered within a three-hour window. In the “stroke belt,” an area of high-stroke mortality which extends across the southeastern U.S. as far western Texas, stroke mortality is 40 percent higher than the rest of the country. Why? In this part of the country, most patients live far enough from a primary stroke center to make timely care a critical issue.