According to research firm Frost & Sullivan, a number of barriers could slow down the momentum of Telehealth in our country, even as the demand for remote patient monitoring on mobile phones, tablets and computers grows.
The report notes that some of these barriers - archaic in practice, process and principle - are stymying the adoption of new technologies and processes that could actually lead to a reduction in the cost of providing health care and help the medical community enhance the quality of their services.
As I mentioned in earlier posts, there is a lack of standardization and regulatory policies (both domestic and global) governing the use of innovative technologies. And much of it comes down to who will pay for what.
Basically, the huge binders that all insurance companies send to doctors, hospitals, etc., have charts with codes listing services they will reimburse - something called Common Procedure Terminology (CPT) codes. Problem is, in all the books and associated systems, there are no codes assigned to telehealth or mHealth.
Add to that the need for education among patients, and the medical community in general, on the availability of secure technologies and the wait continues.
The Frost & Sullivan report noted that Robert Bosch Healthcare is stepping up to the task by introducing its Health Buddy system. The system focuses both on measuring vital signs and fostering patient self-management through questions and feedback on patient health behavior.
It connects patients in their homes to their care providers and has the ability not only to communicate historical patient information for patients with chronic conditions, but also to facilitate patient education and encourage medication and lifestyle compliance.
The company is working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on a demonstration project that is expected to heighten awareness levels while reducing health care costs to adopters.
Inhibitors to adoption of new processes and programs abound throughout the health care ecosystem and these can cause delays in overall reform to the system.
The old adage, "out with the old in with the new," is something everyone in health care, including insurers, should follow to provide a cure for health care in our country.
Have a safe and healthy weekend.
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