Rolling Back Telehealth Services Would Have Severe Impacts on Clinicians, Female Patients
By Consumers For Quality Care, on November 10, 2021
If no action is taken to extend telehealth reimbursement, clinicians and female patients will be disproportionally harmed, according to Fierce Healthcare and Healthcare Dive.
Clinicians have turned to telemedicine to maintain patients’ access to care during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, if pre-pandemic payment regulations are reinstituted, 41 percent of clinicians fear their practice won’t be able to offer virtual care, putting an already overwhelmed workforce at a disadvantage when it comes to providing consumers with quality care. Meanwhile, these regulations are set to return early next year.
Experts also believe that paring back telehealth access and affordability will disproportionately affect women, who account for nearly two-thirds of all telehealth appointments. Caregivers, a historically female role, enjoy the time savings and convenience virtual care offers.
Telehealth has provided more flexibility for consumers to access quality care like never before and has allowed clinicians to provide health care to meet the needs of an overwhelmed system exacerbated by the pandemic. CQC urges policymakers and regulators to protect and expand telehealth coverage for all patients.